Unless you’ve been in on the moon over the past few weeks, you’ve likely heard of this little thing called Ebola. It’s reaching epidemic proportions…at least in the media. From LEOs in Texas conducting search warrants to health care workers in hospitals, there is a concern about being exposed to this horrific disease.
But is it really all that? My buddy, The Happy Medic stops by the blog to give you the lowdown on Ebola, if you should be concerned, and whether or not you can nick a pair of gloves from his rig.
An FAQ for Law Enforcement Officers regarding Ebola
Because of the concern regarding Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, many LEOs have turned to the media for information regarding the disease. Depending on which channel you watch it’s either nothing to be concerned about or it has already killed us all.
To dig through all the misinformation I, the Happy Medic, will answer some frequently asked questions regarding the virus, transmission and steps LEOs should take to protect themselves.
- What is Ebola?
Ebola is a virus named after a river in Africa where it was first discovered. It is a filovirus and impacts the protein receptors in the endothelial…did I just lose you? Sorry, let me “cop this down” for you. It’s a virus that can hide from your body’s natural defense system, then start multiplying everywhere, eventually impacting your liver and blood vessels causing an inability to not bleed. It originated in bats and was likely transferred to humans when the locals hunted wild game and came into contact with the blood.
- Is Ebola airborne?
No, it is not. Airborne refers to the ability for the virus to remain in a suspension and be dispersed by air. Ebola is transmitted by bodily fluids of the infected person being introduced into your bodily fluids. Blood, vomit, stool, semen, droplets in a cough or sneeze must still somehow enter your body.
To defend yourself from coming into contact with these fluids, just keep doing what you’re doing standing outside the house pointing inside saying “He’s in there.”
- What’s more dangerous, a person having been to West Africa or Texas?
They’re about equal right now in reference to the risks of being exposed to Ebola from a symptomatic patient. Oh, sorry, I keep forgetting, symptomatic means they are showing signs of being sick. This means fever, vomiting, headache, muscle aches, pretty much the same symptoms as the common cold. If a person is a healthcare worker in Texas, I’d be just as concerned as if they said they visited Liberia. The key is if they are sick, not where they’ve been.
- What precautions can I take to protect myself?
Call for an eval, like you always do. Stand far away and don’t touch them. You know, the usual.
- What if an infected person is threatening someone else with exposure? Can I shoot him?
While I appreciate your enthusiasm, no, shooting the infected person is only going to increase the bodily fluid exposure. Taze’em.
- I read that we should close all the borders and that’ll solve the problem.
And no teenager grounded for the weekend ever tried to sneak out. Wherever you read that should never again be used for reference.
- What is a hemi-frantic fever?
Hemmorhagic is the word you’re looking for. It means bleeding. This is biblical type stuff where you get a high fever, then your body loses the ability to stop bleeding internally. Basically your insides melt out.
- Can I get a pair of gloves from your rig?
Can I have some of your bullets?
- I was exposed to Ebola on a traffic stop and am feeling…
No you weren’t. You’re feeling ill because you’re worried, not because you were exposed to a remarkably rare virus contained to less than .001% of the population while citing a broken tail light in the suburbs.