Now that cases of Ebola have been identified in the US, Grenada is watching carefully with the general idea that if Ebola reaches Grenada,we’re all doomed but that is not at all true, in fact we may be better equipped than we think.
A lot of fear has been spread because of the threat of Ebola, but as deadly as the virus is, it does not always win; contracting the disease does not mean you will die. There are many documented cases of persons who have survived, some even with home remedies although the safest thing to do is notify the hospital. The recent outbreaks of Ebola are the worst in history because of the number of victims its claimed however the chance of survival is more than the 5 %-10% that many media places are reporting. The World Health Organization (WHO) confirms that the average amount of deaths from Ebola is just around 50% of the number of cases. That means there’s about a 50-50 chance that you can survive Ebola. That’s a lot better than the 10-90 and 1-99 chance that I heard some people talking about.
So how do you win?
The first key is knowledge; understanding what it is and how it works is one of the first ways to properly fighting Ebola. There has been a lot of information circulating across everything from WhatsApp to Facebook regarding the virus.
a- It is thought to be found in fruit bats and transmitted to humans after a person is exposed to the infected animal’s blood, bodily fluids, etc.
b – Ebola spreads between humans through close contact with infected persons. Their blood, sweat and other bodily fluids and anything which may have touched these fluids can transmit the disease.
c-It takes anywhere between 2 – 21 days after infection for a person to start showing symptoms of the virus but a person is not infectious until they start showing symptoms
d – The first symptom is usually a fever, then weakness or fatigue, muscle pain, headache and/or sore throat. It is there easy to mistake the virus for cold, dengue, maybe even Chik-V in the early stage.
e- The next wave of symptoms are most deadly. These are vomiting, diarrhea, rash, kidney & liver problems, and in some cases internal and external bleeding
The second key is to fight. Once you know your enemy and his tactics, you can better fight your enemy; you can win.
Ebola is treated with ORS fluids. These are Oral Re-hydration Solutions. This is used to restore the fluids and nutrients that you lose by vomiting and diarrhea.
The body causes you to vomit and have diarrhea when it detects a threat, like Ebola, that it needs to flush out of the system. This causes you to lose a lot of fluids and nutrients so the rehydration solutions are used to replenish those nutrients, as fast as you’re losing them. One of the best rehydration fluids naturally abundant in the Caribbean is coconut water.
Treatment of the other specific symptoms is also important. This is one of the reasons the first thing you should do when you notice the fever, is report it to the health officers so that you can be instructed on the next steps to help save your life and the lives of your loved ones.
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure
If Ebola does reach Grenada, controlling the spread of the virus is just as important as surviving an attack. As Grenadians we need to familiarize ourselves with the facts about Ebola prevention and control. This is everybody’s business. We need to raise awareness and educate each other with facts as schools, as communities, as health officers. The government and other institutions with the means need to train and equip us with the tools that we can’t access through the internet. With preparation, determination and the resilience that is common among Grenadians, we can win.