Ebola. Even the name is a bit creepy. The disease itself, is horrifying. First you get flu like symptoms, then vomiting and diarrhea, then your organs start shutting down and you bleed from all your orifices before dying.
The death rate from this virulent disease is anywhere from 55-90%. Those are not good odds. Basically, there are no proven cures for this yet. Some experimental stuff, but who knows how far those will come. I’m sure there’s not much profit in it for the pharmaceutical companies in a rare disease that hits poverty stricken areas in Africa. But maybe that’s just my cynical side.
Most survivalists probably have more than a few worries where this disease outbreak is concerned. What can be done to prepare for a possible exposure? What can be done to limit one’s chances of dying horribly from it? Let’s discuss some ways you could prepare.
6 Ways To Prepare for Ebola
1. Get Necessities: The incubation period for this virus is 21 days. In the unlikely event that you find yourself in the middle of an outbreak, you need to be prepared to stay home for 3 weeks, at the very least. Food, water and medicine, you must have a months worth if you are to avoid contact with others for that length of time. You need to know the symptoms so that you can accurately gauge who among your house and kin might have the illness. The World Health Organization has a good factsheet here with details. And of course, you have to love WebMD. The same place you go to check your 3 year old’s chicken pox symptoms also has a section on the Ebola virus. Of course, treating someone in your house through a case of Ebola puts everyone in the house at risk of getting it. Do you have enough quarantine materials? Enough gloves and masks? Enough courage to face this one knowing you might get it if you’re the one taking care of the patient? Could be a tough decision in real life.
Some Ebola stricken areas cancelled schools and closed markets, quarantining the affected neighborhoods with troops in some cases. Which leads to the next point.
2. Avoid Quarantine: Our own American government has much leeway when it comes to “civil disorder.” I would not put it past them to set up quarantine zones and temporarily detain anyone with so much as a cough. That’s not to say that this disease spreads in that manner, usually you have to come into close contact with blood or other secretions from a symptomatic Ebola patient in order to catch the virus. I doubt that will stop the troops from detaining you though and keeping you penned up with other likely sick people. So don’t give them the opportunity to add you to their collection.
3. Stay home: I love a good getaway as much as the next gal, but if you keep company with too many world travelers, you put yourself at risk of being the stepping point for the disease as it hops across continents. And perhaps this should go without saying, but Don’t Go To Africa. While the outbreak rages, don’t go there. The disease originates from fruit bats and monkeys native to that continent. The chances of an outbreak in Idaho or Iowa or Maine, are nill. (Barring the aforementioned world traveling incubators.)
4. Which Hospitals Welcome Ebola? Not all hospitals are equipped with the proper isolation and protective gear to handle Ebola patients. The large hospital closest to me has outright said they wouldn’t accept an Ebola patient. Their plan, such as it is, is to send any that might arrive to the bigger hospital down in Omaha.
5. Get Ready to Play Doctor: If you suspect your local hospital would not take an Ebola patient, and you want to cover all your bases, you should be prepared to provide supportive treatment for anyone who comes down with it. Re-hydration to combat the vomiting and diarrhea. Probably preferably intravenously if you have that ability, just because of the vomiting. And I can’t stress this enough, proper protective gear for anyone that might come in contact with the patient you’re treating at home.
6. Avoid the Big City: I would love to take in a show on Broadway, maybe after the find a cure for Ebola. Big cities have international airports with direct flights to and from Africa. The virus is coming from Africa. Need I say more?
Also Read: Are You Prepared for Quarantine?
Bottom Line: Hand sanitizer and tissue face mask won’t cut it in this case. You’d probably want a full body hazmat suit, with a hard plastic face mask. The truth is, you will probably die this winter from some weird strain of the swine flu, so Ebola is really the least of your concerns in the United States.
Should you be prepping for Ebola? I’d argue no, especially if you’re an American reader who doesn’t travel to Africa. It can be used as a good thought experiment though, for deciding what to prep for any sort of highly contagious disease outbreak. So if that’s your aim, go ahead and use Ebola as a test case. Just don’t lose any sleep over the possibility of an American Ebola outbreak. I don’t see it happening but if Ebola becomes airborne….stop the clock.
Stay safe out there! Stay healthy. Your best defense is a healthy happy body, so work towards that goal.
Ebola is scary but not particularly dangerous. Like CJ noted, you are much more likely to die from the flu.
Ebola kills too fast to be a real threat. AIDS on the other hand is much more dangerous because the infected can keep infecting others for decades. Plus their weakened immune systems make them walking Petri dishes just ripe for super bugs.
But Ebola? It just kills you.
As many of you know my wife is an APRN/NP , We had several conversations about this. Her take? This “epidemic” has been hyped and grossly over blown by power mad government agencies and a news media desperate for ratings. It has been further deliberately inflamed by “prepper” web sights , that are often sales based and often desperate to boost sales and advertising revenue , in what has become a depression in all but name. What we both fear more than plague ,is PANIC at the fear of plague. That panic WILL kill more people than any epidemic could. It will end civilian government as a permanent “emergency” government is installed, cause widespread famine, as the food distribution net fails due to the widespread panic, and send millions of healthy innocent’s to “quarantine”. That will assuredly become death camps ether deliberately out of fear, or from simple incompetence and neglect . That FEAR , more than anything else will cause all we dread to come to pass with breath taking speed.
you are not watching the news from Africa and WHO then.
yeh, what Ray said.(see above)
always the optomist…
CJ, great analysis as usual.
Yes I am a pessimist, MIA CULPA; MIA CULPA
I’d say realist, more often than not.
Like CJ said, I am not going to lose any sleep over it. The media has hyped this thing like they do with everything unless it would damage the current administration. I am not a big fan of the name Ebola named of course after the Ebola River and the first guy who got it was a school teacher back in 1976, if it didn’t wipe out humanity back then then it will have little chance of doing it this time. The truth is, if the big pharma wanted to do it, they could solve this puzzle in a few weeks. The issue is there is no money in ebola – ya a few government grants but no real money. Cancer kills more people in a minute than ebola has killed in the last quarter century. With that said, I am more worried about cancer. I guess I better quit smoking, maybe next week.
Hi John.. You should consider vaping.. I made the switch two years ago and am way healthier now.. Besides that vaoings a hoot!
Ebola has killed a total of two thousand people so far, according to the news. Malaria has killed over 5000 in the same time span in africa. CJ is right and ray is right (wow I’ve agreed with ray twice in the last week), there are many other things more likely to do you in first. General hygiene precautions in the event of any sort of infectious outbreak, maintaining your health and staying home are probably your best bet
If Ebola changes/mutates into an airborne contaminate then I will worry. I just hope some crazy Jihadists types don’t try and spread it around, martyrdom knows no bounds.
You definitely want to at least keep an eye on it … but you guys are right, there are so many other diseases that are far worse since they can drag out over time, that does not mean, however, we should not be active in our concern.
Ebola, just like H1N1, avian flu, plague, CAN BE airborne in aerosol droplets from an infected person coughing in public.
Surgical masks and I 95-I 100 masks do not filter viruses. Most viruses and bacteria are measured in microns. The Ebola virus is measured in nanometers. In public masks could protect, along with a little distance, from virus in aerosol droplets. Best bet: keep your distance and avoid even small crowds. Shop at 3 AM. In public one must also wear protective goggles as the cornea is extraordinarily permeable.
Good day all;
Please understand that Africa is not one giant country. The Ebola virus is a tropical disease endemic to tropical West and Central Africa. Contrary to popular misconception, it isn’t necessary to avoid Africa in it’s entirety but only the particular areas affected such as Western Tropical and Sub-Tropical Africa.
Please refrain from generalizing claims that Africa is suffering un Ebola pandemic that is out of control. Yes, the virus is a pandemic stage but not all African countries are affected so people please understand this… Africa is comprised of many Sovereign Nations, cultures and ethnicities as well as differing climate zones that are not affected. The great majority of African countries are 100% safe and are in no immanent danger.
However avoid the affected countries as far as possible and if you need to travel there be extremely cautious.
God bless and greetings from South Africa.
thanks for the reminder.
over here, we rarely hear any good news from Africa.
even with South Africa I’ve had the impression that you’re living a post SHTF existence. do you have any hair raising
tales to share with us, about life there?
That is the common misconception about Africa irishdutchuncle. Generally people have many misconceptions about Africa and African countries, a lot of them are true and a lot of the are false. South Africa is a lovely country with a magnificent culturally diverse history and an equally diverse population that call it home. To name a few our population is made up of Black people, White people, Coloured people(Mixed race) and Indian people with other minorities such as Asians and so on. Many of our population live in urban or suburban homes and we enjoy watching dstv(cable in the U.S.) on our high definition televisions.
Our homes have internet access as do many of our schools. We enjoy having a “braai” (barbeque) in the summer and we have 11 official languages (even though most of us can only speak between 2-4 of them.) We are a Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary representative government and our constitution is the cornerstone of our young democracy.
On the downside we do have a very high crime rate, most of these crimes being committed by foreign nationals that cross into South Africa illegally(most of them being very heinous violent crimes.) Unemployment in South Africa is a major issue since the whole global economic dip post-2008. Because of our segregation system in the past known as “Apartheid” (literally meaning separateness) the current governing political party have implemented a series of laws and “equity” bills that reserve job opportunities for “certain designated population groups”, which in turn f#!ks up economic development even further. In the past citizens used to say “oh I’m too black to serve South Africa” now citizens say “oh I’m too white to serve South Africa” or at least this is the general mood among a lot of South Africans.
So yes, things started out great in 1994 with a truly free and democratic society but I fear that our politicians are suffering from the “hypo-leadership syndrome” referring to the fact that they place themselves and their own interests first and manipulate the masses at election times to keep themselves in office for another term.
As far as my story goes… preparedness in Africa is necessary, Look what our neighbouring country’s dictator Robert Mugabe did to Zimbabwe (former Rhodesia) this genocide took place just 500km from our Capital city. The Rwandan genocide took place a little further from our borders but still… there are approximately between 2-7 major and minor conflicts taking place on the African continent monthly. Civil unrest is a major issue as well as rebellions against governments. We South Africans have been fortunate so far or should I rather say blessed by the good Lord… but darker times are ahead that is for sure…
Thank you for taking such a keen interest in my country and continent. If you have any further questions please post and I’ll be happy to answer.
Malcolm: Welcome to the blog. Glad to see someone from someplace else joining in the discussion and giving a different perspective. Never spent much time in South Africa but I did enjoy Botswana and southern Uganda when we were teaching park rangers how to protect themselves from poachers. Beautiful country in that part of the world.
Thank you for the welcome, its much appreciated. Jip Southern Africa is breathtakingly beautiful( I kind of understand why my ancestors decided on staying in Africa 250 years ago.) Well to give you guys a little of perspective of why I prep and how I prep and for what I prep… I started prepping out of necessity really; civil unrest as a result of political instability and “protest actions” which kind of have become excuses during the past two years for full scale riots prompted me to do something to protect and provide for my family when the SHTF here. As I’m sitting here typing this our schools and basically most public places are off limits tomorrow because of a massive “service delivery protest action”. Now I kind of agree with the whole idea of letting the government know that they need to step up to the plate and sort out the majority of municipalities that have been neglecting the people’s pleas for basic service delivery especially in the impoverished communities and so on, but as I’ve said during the last two years or so these “protest” have become ever more violent, regular and out of control excuses for pillaging and looting.
We’ve had about three massive riots this month (creating what you would call a bug in situation) not even to mention Marikana (youtube it) two years ago, which supposedly made international news when a bunch of disgruntled mine workers attacked the police and got massacred.
So yeah that’s the primary reason for my prepping activities as well as the fact that our so called government never condemns open discrimination against white people for what our forefathers supposedly did to theirs…land claims, equity, job reservation blah blah blah the list goes on and on. But enough about my complaining I always try to have a positive attitude and I believe that things will hopefully change for the better with regards to the mood among our citizens. Our country has so much potential but unfortunately its slowly being bled dry…heart breaking to see something that you’ve built and that your forefathers built being desecrated, left do decay and to have mob rule replace it.
My general field or range of supplies (preps) include firearms, ammo, water, food, medical supplies and communication. In South Africa an eligible citizen may only poses four firearms total (one handgun and three bolt action rifles or two bolt action rifles and one break-open shotgun, NO semi-auto’s unless you possess a dedicated sport shooting status permit which is very difficult to obtain. Obviously this being Africa we have a massive hunting community, basically everyone hunts here or has at least hunted as a kid with their dad.
My food preps basically comprises of anything that can be stored for long periods of time. I do vary my food preps and I do keep in mind to cover the basics of carbs, protein and fats. I’ve recently started cultivating fruit trees and I’m planning a vegetable garden to improve my resupply and sustainability, I do believe in multiple layers of redundancy and backups. My motto is “I always have a plan B and C” or at least I try ha ha ha : – D
Wow guys there is so much to talk about but I don’t want to bore you with my essay so please pop me a comment if your interested or curious about something.
Thank you and God bless.
yeh, what Tim said, (see above) welcome.
I would like to hear much more from the outside world, regarding what you prepare for, and how you’re preparing for it. (preparedness here is ridiculed)
Malcolm, with all due respect, I think I will skip Africa this year.
The Canadian health concern stated VERY clearly, that when it (ebola) was aerosolized, the monkeys were contaminated ie infected. That means airborne…remember a rule of thumb: if you can smell an odor ,it is airborne. When what ever make you the host has no odor always assume it is airborne…better safe than sorry.
Luck has absolutely NOTHING to do with your success!
The Canadian health concern stated VERY clearly, that when it (ebola) was aerosolized, the monkeys were contaminated ie infected. That means airborne…remember a rule of thumb: if you can smell an odor ,it is airborne. When what ever makes you the host and has no odor always assume it is airborne…better safe than sorry.
Luck has absolutely NOTHING to do with your success!
The Canadian health concern stated VERY clearly, that when it (Ebola) was aerosolized, the monkeys were contaminated i.e. infected. That means airborne…remember a rule of thumb: if you can smell an odor ,it is airborne. When what ever makes you the host and has no odor always assume it is airborne…better safe than sorry.
Luck has absolutely NOTHING to do with your success!
is HEPA filtration adequate for excluding the aerosolized
virus? (they tell me that it will stop anthrax)