Answering common questions asked about Ebola

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — People are searching for answers when it comes to the Ebola virus.

“We want to minimize rumors and maximize facts,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings on Tuesday.

The Texas city just saw its third case of the deadly virus, and remains at the forefront of the world’s most unsettling conversation.

WIAT 42 News wants to answer a few of the most common questions about Ebola.

  1. How easy is it to catch Ebola?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s not very easy to catch Ebola. Doctors say the virus is spread through direct contact with blood and bodily fluids of someone who is infected. This is why healthcare workers are considered to be at the highest risk. The disease is not airborne.

  1. How do I know if I have Ebola?

Symptoms of Ebola include fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and unexplained bruises and bleeding.  The only way to be certain of an Ebola infection is through a blood test, taken a few days after symptoms begin.

Alabama Health Officer, Don Williamson, said 12 people in Alabama have been tested for Ebola.  Each of those tests came back negative, although one person tested positive for Malaria, which has similar symptoms.  Williamson said the 12 people received blood tests because of their recent travel history.

  1. Can my pet catch Ebola?

Yes. As an American nurse recovers from Ebola at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, her dog is making headlines. Healthcare workers have isolated the pet as a precaution. According to a CDC report from 2005, dogs can get Ebola.

While veterinarians say dogs don’t show symptoms, and that there is no evidence of dogs transmitting Ebola to humans, the CDC study still considers this a potential health risk.

Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News

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