How To Prevent The Spread Of The Ebola Virus In Your Town

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July 7, 2014 4:11 PM EST

Ebola virus is a dreaded disease comparable to the Bubonic or Black Plague which decimated populations centuries ago. Should there be an epidemic of the chimp-caused disease in your Australian town, it is best to know the precautionary measures to stay safe. How do you make sure you don't bring the virus home, or make sure that an outbreak doesn't happen in your town? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some advice.

REUTERS/Tommy Trenchard
Health workers take blood samples for Ebola virus testing at a screening tent in the local government hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone

1. Limit trips to Africa, especially at the time of an outbreak

The virus actually got its name from the Ebola River in Congo. The very first appearance of the virus was in Africa where two outbreaks in 1976 occured. There are five known types of Ebola virus that trigger the disease. Four of these are known to cause ill effects on human beings. Many scientists confirm that the disease originated from Africa.

2. Avoid playing with monkeys

The virus is basically acquired by getting in contact with the waste or body fluids of infected animals, like monkeys, fruit bats or chimpanzees. As soon as a person is infected, the disease can manifest symptoms in about 48 hours or later. As a precautionary measure, do not play with chimps at the zoo, especially if these were transported straight from Africa.

3. Wear protective gear

Since the cause of Ebola virus comes from body fluids and waste, protect your skin by wearing gloves. Wear goggles, masks and caps to prevent the fluids from getting in contact with your body. Cover your mouth and other body openings or wear a lab coat when working experiments with animals.

4. Stay isolated

Individuals who have been confirmed to have Ebola virus or are at least showing the initial signs and symptoms should stay away from other human beings to prevent the spread of infection. Stay in an isolated room or go to a nearby hospital to get quarantined and keep others from acquiring the dreaded sickness.

5. Avoid bush meat

Many Australians like to explore and try exotic dinners. It is best to stay away from unknown sources of meat. Cooking will not eliminate the virus completely. Also wash your hands frequently with soap and water and apply alcohol every now and then.  

(Photo: REUTERS/Tommy Trenchard / )
Health workers take blood samples for Ebola virus testing at a screening tent in the local government hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone
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