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How do I know if I have Ebola?

By Anonymous August 26, 2014 - 9:47am
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Recently, I traveled from San Francisco, CA to Philadelphia, PA on a plane. The person in front of me was not from this country and appeared to be sick (coughing, sneezing constantly). It has been 5 days and now i'm sick!

I do not have a fever, but am very congested, coughing and sneezing. Is this simply a cold, or should I be worried? 

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Hello Anonymous,

Thank you for reaching out to us with your concern about Ebola.
With so much media attention, this deadly virus is on everyone's mind.

Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. It is not an airborne virus and cannot be spread by an infected person's coughing or sneezing.

EVD is a severe acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.

Ebola virus infections can be diagnosed definitively in a laboratory through several types of tests:

antibody-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
antigen detection tests
serum neutralization test
reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay
electron microscopy
virus isolation by cell culture.
All the above information is attributed to the World Health Organization.

Anonymous, I think your fellow passenger had the common cold and passed it on to you.


August 26, 2014 - 9:58am
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