Ebola in Italy, what are the risks: it is explained by those who have been in the affected countries

Ebola in Italy, what are the risks: it is explained by those who have been in the affected countries

How to defend yourself against Ebola: all the necessary precautions

"Faced with the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the international response is still inadequate, we are losing too many lives and our teams are at the limit of their abilities. We must act now to stop the epidemic". It is the appeal launched by Doctors Without Borders, the largest independent medical-humanitarian organization in the world, awarded the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize, active in over 60 countries, which provides assistance to the victims of war, catastrophes and epidemics. We took stock of the situation together with Dr. Fanshen Lionetto, who was in Guinea and Sierra Leone among the countries most at risk.

Doctor, let's start by saying how it is transmitted
Ebola is a virus that is transmitted through body fluids, such as: blood, vomit, sweat, faeces, breast milk, sperm, essentially with all infected biological fluids.

What are the symptoms?
The symptoms are very very varied. Let's talk about fever, asthenia, joint pain, sore throat, headache. Subsequently vomiting and diarrhea arise, up to even external bleeding, spontaneous bleeding.

Therefore in the initial phase it is easy to exchange it with influence
Yes, but it evolves very quickly. Unfortunately, in the initial phase of the disease the difficulty of making a clinical diagnosis is linked to non-specific symptoms. The risk of contagion is related to exposure and therefore the people most at risk are patients' family members and health professionals.

What about prevention?
It depends on what context you are in. If we talk about Europe there are no special precautions to be taken unless you come into contact with an infected person. The advice is to follow the normal rules of hygiene, which range from washing hands before eating to having no contact with people suspected of being infected or ill. If caring for a sick person, use protective clothing.

But if a case occurs in Italy, are we prepared?
All hospitals are implementing a series of protocols so as to be prepared in case of a suspect case. We are getting ready. In conclusion, care must be taken. It is a situation that must be managed, certainly complex, but it is useless to create alarmism. Now we talk about it a lot because it has arrived in Europe but let's remember that the problem is first of all in Central Africa and the better you can manage the problem there, the more we can rest assured. Surely what we are doing now is not enough.

We remind you that it is possible to support the action of Doctors Without Borders on http://www.msf.it/emergenzaebola. The funds raised will contribute to sending specialized personnel to the field, building new field hospitals, insulation facilities and mobile diagnostic laboratories, distributing large-scale medical and hygiene kits, and raising awareness among the population and in local health facilities. With less than 1 euro MSF can provide 1 liter of intravenous rehydration treatment to patients, while with 15 euros you can buy a protective suit for your operators.

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