How To Survive Ebola, Part 3

16 Oct

Continuing our discussion of PPE, Ebola currently spreads through open wounds, nose, mouth, and eyes. It is passed through bodily fluids. I wouldn’t want any on my skin, but if you had infected bodily waste on your unbroken skin through some accident, wash it off and disinfect the area. It’s not a death sentence.

Healthcare professionals treating patients are exposed to a much higher risk than an individual walking around town. Walking around town, there’s no need to interact with infected bodily materials.

Some healthcare experts and experts in infectious diseases say we (Average Americans) don’t need PPE. They say all that’s really needed is keeping three to four feet away from other people. Unless an infected trombone player blows a sneeze in your face, you should be fine.

In the event of a major outbreak, I’d be more comfortable with full PPE. Others would choose some protection for their nose and mouth and perhaps glasses for the eyes and nitrile gloves for the hands. Is this protection flawless? No. Is it better than nothing. Yes. Each prepper must choose his own level of protection.

A virus can live outside its host for a period of time before it dies. Everybody knows about the Flu. Somebody with the flu sneezes in their hand and touches a door knob. You touch the door knob and rub your nose. You get the flu. The same could happen with Ebola. Be alert to what you touch and be aware of how many other people touch it. Shopping carts are a great example. A shopping cart handle has been touched by dozens or hundreds of people.

There are several ways to deal with this. Wash your hands frequently. Even if soap doesn’t kill the virus, it washes it away. You should wash your hands vigorously for 30 seconds as a minimum. Just running a bit of water over your hands will allow a virus to remain. During cold season, wash your hands several times a day. Same goes for Ebola.

Some people carry packets of handywipes for surfaces. These have bleach or other ingredients to kill viruses. Clorox Disinfecting Wipes are one example. If you must touch something touched by many others, you could disinfect it first.

In the last post we wrote about touching the nose and rubbing the eyes. Minimizing that minimizes your chances of infection.

A theme of these posts about Ebola is the danger of transition periods and how to deal with them. If you’ve gone out and had contact you fear SIGNIFICANTLY EXPOSED you to Ebola, what do you do? If you just go home like nothing happened you risk carrying the disease to your family and loved ones.

Ebola has an INCUBATION PERIOD of 21days (this number could be higher according to some reports). This means that within 21 days of being exposed to the virus, you’re expected to develop symptoms if you’re going to contract the disease. If you aren’t yet exhibiting symptoms of Ebola, you can’t spread the disease. This could change in the future as the virus mutates.

QUARANTINE is the process of isolating somebody who could have a disease for a period of time to monitor them. Do they exhibit signs of infection? Are they all dead after 40 days? “QUAR” as in quarter means four and the term comes from a time when ships were isolated for 40 days.

You could place yourself in a self-imposed quarantine for 21 days before rejoining your family. What this looks like for a prepper’s family, I don’t know. Maybe you live in a tent in the backyard. Maybe you live in the garage. Just don’t let the wife get to use to the idea. After 21 days, if you’re well, you want to rejoin the family. Quarantine is a way to manage the transition period from somebody exposed to the infected world to the isolated and protected world.

In Part 4, we’ll look at what plague could look like in the modern world. What would happen if half of all people didn’t show up for work? Would people panic and would this be a greater danger than the disease itself? How long would a Ebola plague last? How would it likely end?

Charlie Palmer, author The Prepper Next Door

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