Humans cannot infect other people until symptoms of Ebola appear. A person must have symptoms to spread the disease to others.
This is the assurance given as a public advisory by the PSMID (Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases), who works hand in hand with WHO and DOH in safeguarding the public against the deadly EVD, or Ebola Virus Disease. This advice comes to allay fears looming among local citizens in the wake of the returning Peacekeepers who were quarantined and visited.
EVD is contagious, has a fast onset, and is often fatal if untreated. The present outbreak is located in West Africa and has spread between countries starting in Guinea, then to Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Mali.
The Philippines remains Ebola-free and to date no case has been identified or confirmed in the country.
How does Ebola Spread?
Ebola can only be spread from one person to another by direct contact to broken skin, or unprotected mucous membranes like the eyes, ears, and nose. Direct contact includes body fluids and objects from a person who has Ebola and has symptoms. Examples of body fluids are: blood, urine, saliva, vomit, feces, sweat, breast milk, and semen. Objects contaminated with such body fluids may be syringes, needles, beddings, or clothings.
The time interval from the point when the virus enters the body to the time when the person develops symptoms is from 2 to 21 days.
Ebola is not spread through the air, by water, nor by food. There is no evidence that mosquitoes or other insects can transmit the Ebola virus. A person who does not have the symptoms of Ebola cannot spread the disease. Likewise, people who have recovered from Ebola can no longer spread the virus to people in the community.
The symptoms of Ebola include:
Fever, fatigue, muscle and joint pains, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and bleeding (such as gums, skin, blood in stool and urine.)
How is the screening of incoming travelers done?
Incoming travellers from countries where there are cases of Ebola are screened at the port of entry, whether it is the airport or the seaport. This is done by monitoring of the body temperature and symptoms, asking where the traveller has visited, and who the people they had come in contact with during travel.
There are two kinds of screening: Exit screening and entry screening. Exit screening is when a person is screened for signs and symptoms of Ebola before leaving a country with widespread Ebola transmission. Entry screening is when a person arriving from a country with widespread Ebola transmission is screened for signs and symptoms of Ebola.
Updating one’s knowledge about EVD is very helpful. You may visit the following websites for the latest updates: