Dr. Rohrich, are you worried about a dangerous spread of Ebola in Dallas-Ft. Worth?
No Jane, not if the basic precautions are followed as the Ebola virus is transmitted only though direct contact with blood or body fluids. Ebola is not spread in the air or through water or food.
Is Ebola spread through casual contact, and if so, how?
It cannot be spread by casual contact as it needs “direct contact” which means the body fluids like blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, urine or feces have to have directly touched someones eyes, nose , mouth, an open wound or cut in the skin.
Is the spread of Ebola in any ways similar to the spread of the flu virus?
No, you can not get Ebola by coughing or sneezing only, unless the infected person directly sneezes saliva or mucus in your eye, nose, or mouth or via an open wound or cut in the skin. It is not spread like the flu, which is spread by coughing and sneezing via airborne particles.
Flu season is coming, what is the difference in symptoms?
Ebola usually does not present with coughing or sneezing but infected patients have a high fever, headache , diarrhea, severe vomiting and unexplained bleeding or bruising and muscle pain in most cases.
Should there be any kind of travel ban?
Usually not since the patient is usually only infectious once they have symptoms, so a 21 day quarantine as is being done in Dallas now for those exposed to the Ebola patient is warranted. However, I would not recommend that you visit West Africa where the Ebola outbreak is now epidemic.
Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Professor of Plastic Surgery
Distinguished Teacher Professor
Crystal Charity Ball Distinguished Chair in Plastic Surgery
Warren and Betty Woodward Chair in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Department of Plastic Surgery
UT Southwestern Medical Centerhttp://drrohrich.com/
“Best care through discovery and innovation.
Dr. Rohrich abstracted these answers from Facts about the Ebola Virus -UT Southwestern
, information provided by the Centers for Disease Control – CDC website.
I don’t know if this puts your mind at ease but it is the best information I have right now. If there are questions about Ebola you would like me to ask Dr. Rohrich or another medical professional, please put them in the comments below and I’ll be happy to.