What to know if the Ebola virus reaches the Middle East
Hopefully it will never come to this, but it’s better to be safe than sorry…EDGAR staff October 15, 2014
Since March 25 this year, an estimated 4,500 people have died from the Ebola virus, with a further 5,000 infected.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said there could be up to 10,000 new cases a week within two months if efforts to stop the virus spreading were not increased. There is no known cure or vaccine.
The United States, Spain, Germany, Norway, France and the UK have all reported cases of the virus, though several patients have recovered. Guinea and Libera in West Africa, where the recent outbreak began, is home to the large majority of deaths.
With that in mind, and given several cities in the Middle East and particularly the GCC are travel hubs with millions of people passing through every year, it’s important to know what you should do if – or when – the virus reaches the Middle East.
While Ebola is an extremely infectious disease and an infinitely small amount is able to cause illness, it is only moderately contagious. Its particles cannot be transmitted through the air but they are spread through contaminated body fluids, so needless to say avoid direct contact with sick patients.
The symptoms can be delayed by up to two weeks, so if you know someone who’s just returned from one of the infected countries, keep an eye on them. The virus doesn’t become contagious until the symptoms show.
Keep your hands to yourself
If you happen to be going on business to West Africa - though we imagine you may have postponed such a trip - avoid shaking hands. We know we've told you before in our style and gentleman pages that a firm handshake is an important part of making a good first impression with a new client or employer. But, in the face of the world's most urgent medical issue right now, keep your hands in your pockets. Use soap
Sounds obvious but too many times we've seen fellow gents leave restrooms without as much as turning the tap on. Use soap - ordinary soap is fine - and clean towels to dry your hands. The virus can also be contracted through exposed animal meat. Researches for the current outbreak believe fruit bats are the most likely hosts, but if your work involves handling raw meat produce, then be extra sure to scrub.
Possibly easier said than done, but if you start feeling unwell, have a headache or stomach problems, do not panic with immediate thoughts that you have Ebola. Spreading rumours increases fear.
Common symptoms of Ebola include: weakness, fever, aches, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain. A victim may also experience a rash, red eyes, chest pain, throat soreness, difficulty breathing or swallowing and internal and external bleeding.
For more info visit: who.int