YOU KNOW, I’M BEGINNING TO GET A BIT CONCERNED: Ebola Fears Hit Close To Home. Usually, Ebola outbreaks burn out because it’s so fatal that it kills off its victims before they have time to do much spreading. I wonder if this is a new, longer-incubating strain or something. I couldn’t find any such reports, but this does seem to be an unusually widespread
Could Ebola spread to the U.S.?
The CDC held a media briefing Monday to emphasize that there is "no significant risk" of an Ebola outbreak in the United States.
There has never been a confirmed case of Ebola spreading to a developed country, said Kamiliny Kalahne, an epidemiologist with Doctors Without Borders.
"This is because people generally transmit the infection when they are very sick, have a high fever and a lot of symptoms -- and in these situations, they don't travel.
"And even if they do get sick once they travel to a developed country, they will be in a good hospital with good infection control, so they are very unlikely to infect others," she said.
The U.S. health care system is also better suited to handle an Ebola case than many in West Africa, said Dr. Marty Cetron, director of CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine. Health officials would likely recognize such a case and be able to trace all points of contact with the patient to prevent further transmission, he said.
"Epidemics of disease are often followed by epidemics of fear and epidemics of stigma," Cetron said. "All of these things occur in a social context that can make containment very challenging."
Ebola is not contagious until symptoms appear. Symptoms of Ebola include fever, fatigue and headaches. These symptoms can appear two to 21 days after infection, meaning many who are sick don't know it.
The early symptoms then can progress to vomiting, diarrhea, impaired kidney and liver function, and sometimes internal and external bleeding.
What should I do?
Avoiding these West African countries is the easiest way to prevent the outbreak from spreading, Cetron said. If you have traveled recently to the region and develop a fever, or other symptoms consistent with Ebola, notify your doctor right away.
If you're a humanitarian worker in the region, you need to be familiar with proper infection control precautions and avoid contact with blood or any other bodily fluids, he said. You should also report any needle sticks or possible exposures early to receive testing and, if necessary, start treatment as soon as possible.
The Sawyer family is working with their church community to start "Concerned Liberians against Ebola," Decontee said. Their goal is to raise $500,000 to help two international organizations: Samaritan's Purse and Global Health Ministry.