A CDC Level 1 ALERT
For the third time in the history of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the agency has raised its level of emergency alertness to "Level 1"—this time in response to the Ebola virus, following outbreaks in West Africa.
CDC Level 1 emergency response, reserved for the most dire health emergencies, was declared for the first time in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina, and again in 2009 for the H1N1 influenza outbreak.
On August 8, 2014, the World Health Organization declared the Ebola outbreak an international public health emergency. The outbreak affected areas of West Africa; The Ebola virus has been brought to the U.S. by returning healthcare workers and possibly travelers from those affected areas.
While the death rate for Ebola can be upwards of 90 percent, the current outbreak has a death rate of about 55 percent. Two American aid workers were flown back for treatment in the US, aboard a specially-equipped plane. Both were given an experimental drug and have survived. Another individual entered the U.S. presumable lied about his contact with EBOLA became ill, was released from a hospital having the Ebola Virus. It was reported he may have exposed as many as 100 people. This patient died in Oct. of 2014 only a few days of being hospitalized again. Two nurses who were exposed to this individual are now undergoing tests for Ebola.
In November 2014 in New York another physician who ignored the 21 day recommended isolation tested positive for Ebola following a night on the town. What seems to be clear is that some health care workers are convinced they know the risks better than anyone and are acting accordingly putting themselves and the general public at unnecessary risks. This reminds me of the early days of the HIV epidemic. What is concerning is that in all of these cases it is what we don’t know about these deadly viruses, along with the politics’ and egos’ that gets us into trouble.
How Ebola Spreads:
What we are being told by the CDC is spreading of the EBOLA virus is via contact with bodily fluids from an infected person. Researchers claim person-to-person transmission requires close personal contact with an infected individual or their body fluids during the late stages of infection, or after death. The CDC have claimed that Ebola is not airborne. Like HIV/AIDS, the Ebola virus requires contact with bodily fluids of an infected person.
Cold and Flu Season!
It should be noted that not all flu supplies are created equal. The FDA’s Center for Device and Radiological Health, states that respirators are a vital part of preparation to help reduce the spread of the flu virus to individuals. Both the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control endorse a properly-fitting "N95 Respirator" as one of the items, which, along with proper hand washing, cough etiquette and avoidance of crowded settings will help prevent the spread of the Flu.
What You Can Do to Stay Healthy During Flu Season
Get vaccinated against seasonal flu. Vaccination is the best protection we have against flu.
Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
Take everyday actions to stay healthy.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread that way.
Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.