Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is one of numerous Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. It is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).

An American aid worker infected with the deadly Ebola virus while in Liberia arrived in the United States from West Africa on August 2, 2014.

Despite concern among some in the United States over bringing Ebola patients to the country, health officials have said there is no risk to the public. He was escorted into an Atlanta hospital, wearing a bio-hazard suit, for treatment in a special isolation unit.

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See Pandemic Protection Products – features items recommended by the CDC, WHO, and American Red Cross

The facility at Emory, set up with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is one of only four in the country with the facilities to deal with such cases.

A second infected member of the group, missionary Nancy Writebol, will be brought to the United States on a later flight, as the medical aircraft is equipped to carry only one patient at a time.

Brantly is a 33-year-old father of two young children. Writebol is a 59-year-old mother of two.

CDC spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds said this week that the agency was not aware of any Ebola patient ever being treated in the United States previously. But five people in the past decade have entered the country with either Lassa Fever or Marburg Fever, hemorrhagic fevers that are similar to Ebola.

Genetic analysis of the virus indicates that it is closely related (97% identical) to variants of Ebola virus (species Zaire ebolavirus) identified earlier in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon

The World Health Organization, in partnership with the Ministries of Health in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria announced a cumulative total of 1603 suspect and confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and 887 deaths, as of August 1, 2014. Of the 1603 clinical cases, 1009 cases have been laboratory confirmed for Ebola virus infection.

In Guinea, 485 cases, including 358 fatal cases and 340 laboratory confirmations of EVD, were reported by the Ministry of Health of Guinea and WHO as of August 1, 2014. Active surveillance continues in Conakry, Guéckédou, Boffa, Pita, Siguiri, and Kourourssa Districts.

In Sierra Leone, WHO and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone reported a cumulative total of 646 suspect and confirmed cases of EHF as of August 1, 2014. Of these 646, 540 cases have been laboratory confirmed and 273 were fatal. Districts reporting clinical EVD patients include Kailahun, Kenema, Kambia, Port Loko, Bo and Western Area, which includes the capital, Freetown. More recently, Tonkolili, Bambali, Moyamba, Bonthe, and Punjehun Districts have also reported confirmed cases of EVD. Reports, investigations, and testing of suspect cases continue across the country.

As of August 1, 2014, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia and WHO reported 468 clinical cases of EVD, including 129 laboratory confirmations and 255 fatal cases. Suspect and confirmed cases have been reported from Lofa, Montserado, Margibi, Bomi, Bong, Nimba, RiverCess, Grand Cape Mount, and Grand Bassa Counties. Laboratory testing is being conducted in Monrovia.

In Nigeria, WHO and the Nigerian Ministry of Health reported 1 probable fatal case and 4 suspect cases as of August 1, 2014.

CDC is in regular communication with all of the Ministries of Health (MOH), WHO, MSF, and other partners regarding the outbreak. Currently CDC has personnel in all four countries assisting the respective MOHs and the WHO-led international response to this Ebola outbreak.

Based on reports from the Ministry of Heath of Guinea, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia, the Ministry of Health of Nigeria, and WHO.


The prevention of Ebola HF presents many challenges. Because it is still unknown how exactly people are infected with Ebola HF, there are few established primary prevention measures.

When cases of the disease do appear, there is increased risk of transmission within health care settings. Therefore, health care workers must be able to recognize a case of Ebola HF and be ready to employ practical viral hemorrhagic fever isolation precautions or barrier nursing techniques. They should also have the capability to request diagnostic tests or prepare samples for shipping and testing elsewhere.

Health staff dressed in protective clothing constructing a perimeter for the isolation ward.

MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières) health staff in protective clothing constructing perimeter for isolation ward.

Barrier nursing techniques include:

The aim of all of these techniques is to avoid contact with the blood or secretions of an infected patient. If a patient with Ebola HF dies, it is equally important that direct contact with the body of the deceased patient be prevented.

CDC, in conjunction with the World Health Organization, has developed a set of guidelines to help prevent and control the spread of Ebola HF. Entitled Infection Control for Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers In the African Health Care Setting, the manual describes how to:

  • recognize cases of viral hemorrhagic fever (such as Ebola HF)
  • prevent further transmission in health care setting by using locally available materials and minimal financial resources.

Personal Protection


Ebola Fact Sheet

Ebola Fact Sheet


Health, Medical & Nursing Education

Healthcare Training?

What an amazing field – and how to explain, explore, demonstrate, simulate, practice, teach and learn?Anatomy

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The Best Way to Stop Bug Bites according to Consumer Reports

According to the CDC, Insect Repellent & Sting Relief Products are your best defense against West Nile

In a recent article entitled “Best Way to Stop Bug Bites”, Consumer Reports once again recommends Natrapel 8 hour, and references their 2010 study which found Natrapel to be the only non-Deet repellent to receive their recommendation. This is another phenomenal endorsement from a trusted consumer resource. Check out the full article here: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2014/05/best-way-to-stop-bug-bites/index.htm



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Summer Surprises and Safety

When you are walking or playing sports, attending summer camps, vacationing, or having general fun with friends and family, make sure you know your risks and are prepared to take action against heat distress, poor air quality, lightning strikes, wildfires, floods, rip currents, hurricanes and tornadoes… just to name a few. 

We are Ambassadors of NOAA & The Weather Ready Nation Program!

We are Ambassadors of NOAA & The Weather Ready Nation Program!

Summer Safety means being Weather-Ready. This summer, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) asks you to Be A Force of Nature! by becoming Summer Weather-Ready. Help us spread the word to ensure that everyone stays safe this summer! Summer in the northern hemisphere begins June 21 and lasts until September 23. It’s an active season for people, the atmosphere and the oceans. People stay out later and longer, and more storms spin up. This combination provides us the opportunity for lots of fun, outdoor activities, but it also increases our risk to certain environmental hazards. NOAA wants to raise the nation’s awareness to be Summer Weather-Ready!outdoor_first_aid_kit_banner

Can carrying around a brochure help save your life?

“My Medicines” … This Brochure Can be a Lifesaver

My-MedicinesCan carrying around a brochure help save your life? Yes, if it’s the “My Medicines” brochure offered by FDA’s Office of Women’s Health. It’s designed to help consumers track the medications they use.

My Medicines features a chart that allows you to list information about your prescription medicines, including the names of the medicines, how much you take, when you take them, what condition they are treating, and the number of refills.

The brochure also offers advice on how to use labeling information, how to avoid problems with your medicines, and questions you should ask your doctor or pharmacist about your prescriptions.

The brochure is available online at www.fda.gov/womenshealthsafemeds, as well as through the mail and from insurance providers, pharmacies, hospitals, health fairs, senior centers, and other venues.

Gone Fishing

Spring and Summer bring fish. Fishing isn’t a dangerous sport, but as with any activity, especially activities held in the ever-changing out-of-doors, there are some safety tips which should be followed. Fishing has some unique hazards and injuries. (After all, you aren’t likely to get mosquito bites and fish hook injuries at a quilting bee, now are you?)

Fishing is relaxing and fun! Anyone can learn to fish. Fishing is also a great way to experience the out-of-doors by itself or in combination with boating, picnicking, camping, hiking, and viewing wildlife.

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Here are some simple Fishing safety tips…

Using Tackle Safely:

  • Always handle fishing tackle responsibly.
  • Make sure to look behind you before casting so that your hook will not catch a power line, tree, or another person.
  • Don’t leave your tackle lying on the ground. Someone may trip and fall on it, step on a hook, or even break your tackle.
  • If a hook is deep inside of a fish’s mouth, don’t put your hand inside. Instead, use some kind of a hook remover to carefully remove the hook. If this doesn’t work, cut the line as far back as you safely can to release the fish.
  • Always remove hooks and lures from your line and store them in your tackle box when moving your equipment.

Whenever around water, small children should wear a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) that fits properly.

Know how to properly use the rescue devices.

Stay seated as much as possible while in a boat.

Never overload a boat. Know how much weight your boat can safely carry and always evenly distribute your load.

Do not use drugs or drink alcohol when boating. Over half of all drowning victims were using alcohol or drugs.

Remain a safe distance from low water dams and other restricted areas.

Keep your eyes on the weather. Leave the water before storms arrive. If on the water and caught in a storm, make sure your life jacket is on and cautiously travel to shore and beach the boat.

Travel slowly in shallow areas and areas of flooded trees.

When traveling at night, be sure your running lights are on so others can see you.

Always wear sunscreen on exposed areas like your face, neck, and hands. The sun ‘s rays can damage your skin and give you a painful burn.

Wear a hat. Hats keep your head cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They also can help keep the sun out of your eyes and protect your head from hooks during a stray cast.

Protect the only eyes you have by wearing some kind of glasses. Sunglasses protect your eyes from hooks and the sun’s harmful rays. Polarized sunglasses also help you see below the surface of the water to see fish and other objects.

Shoes should always be worn whether fishing on shore, in a boat, or wading in the water. Stray hooks, glass, sharp rocks, and other objects on shore and in the water could cut your bare feet. In a boat, shoes designed to keep your feet from slipping in a wet boat could help prevent you from taking an unexpected dip into the water.

Always dress for the weather and be prepared for sudden changes.

With common sense, you can have fun and still be a responsible boater.

Make sure all required equipment and a Boat first-aid kit are in the boat before going fishing. When an emergency happens, you don’t want to have to go back to shore to get what you forgot.

  • Wear your life jacket. Always.
  • Make sure your boat has ALL required safety equipment.
  • Avoid alcohol while boating. Alcohol use affects judgment, vision, balance, and coordination. Reports suggest that alcohol was a contributing factor in about one in five boating fatalities.
  • Complete an approved boating safety course. You may save on your boat insurance, and you most certainly will be a more knowledgeable operator for it.
  • Know the rules. They were developed for your safety, and the safety of those around you.
  • Don’t overload. Know the capacity of your boat and stay within those limits.
  • Boat with a partner, and let family or friends know of your boating plans.
  • Check the weather forecast.

Take a Friend Fishing!! Fishing with a friend makes for twice the fishing fun while also making for a safer trip.

Heat Stress and Heat Related Injuries – Heat Exhaustion / Heat Stroke

Heat Stress and Heat Related injuries and a major cause of illness, loss of work, and even death during the Spring and Summer Months each year. This has become such a serious issue that OSHA has developed and entire campaign around the issue and even developed and launched an app.

Heat Safety Tool Smartphone App – click the logo to get it!→

Heat Safety Tool - Smartphone App

We’ve discussed this topic in other articles, such as Help Prevent Heat-Related Illness, but as we head into the hot Months again, we want raise awareness anew.

The OSHA Campaign focuses on water, rest, and shade – these (along with essential electrolytes) can keep workers safe and healthy. The same applies to each of us in our ordinary lives. Whether a senior, who may be more susceptible to heat illness, or a young athlete kicking it up on the field and in the sin, think about how heat can sneak up on you and knock you down.

Shows locations of outdoor worker, heat-related fatalities between 2008 and 2012.

←Shows locations of outdoor worker, heat-related fatalities between 2008 and 2013.

HEAT ILLNESS CAN BE DEADLY. Every year, thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat, and some even die. Heat illnesses and deaths are preventable.Employers are responsible for providing workplaces that are safe from excessive heat.

What is heat illness?

The body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating isn’t enough. Body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if precautions are not taken such as drinking water frequently and resting in the shade or air conditioning. Heat illnesses range from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention and can result in death.

How can heat illness be prevented?

Employers should establish a complete heat illness prevention program to prevent heat illness. This includes: provide workers with water, rest and shade; gradually increase workloads and allow more frequent breaks for new workers or workers who have been away for a week or more to build a tolerance for working in the heat (acclimatization); modify work schedules as necessary; plan for emergencies and train workers about the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and their prevention; and monitor workers for signs of illness. Workers new to the heat or those that have been away from work and are returning can be most vulnerable to heat stress and they must be acclimatized (see box).

To prevent heat related illness and fatalities:

  • Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Rest in the shade to cool down.
  • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
  • Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
  • Keep an eye on fellow workers.
  • “Easy does it” on your first days of work in the heat. You need to get used to it.

If workers are new to working in the heat or returning from more than a week off, and for all workers on the first day of a sudden heat wave, implement a work schedule to allow them to get used to the heat gradually.

Drink water often - Rest in the shade - Report heat symptoms early - Know what to do in an emergencyAc·cli·ma·ti·za·tion

: a physical change that builds tolerance to the heat, can be done by gradually increasing workload for new and returning workers- and for everyone during a heat wave.

Remember these three simple words: Water, Rest, Shade.  Taking these precautions can mean the difference between life and death.

Who is affected?

Always keep electrolytes on hand for replenishment!

Always keep electrolytes on hand for replenishment!

Any worker exposed to hot and humid conditions is at risk of heat illness, especially those doing heavy work tasks or using bulky protective clothing and equipment. Some workers might be at greater risk than others if they have not built up a tolerance to hot conditions,including new workers, temporary workers, or those returning to work after a week or more off. This also includes everyone during a heat wave.

Industries most affected by heat-related illness are: construction; trade, transportation and utilities; agriculture; building, grounds maintenance; landscaping services; and support activities for oil and gas operations.

About the OSHA Heat Campaign

OSHA’s nationwide Heat Illness Prevention Campaign aims to raise awareness and teach workers and employers about the dangers of working in hot weather and provide valuable resources to address these concerns. Begun in 2011, the Heat Illness Prevention Campaign has reached more than 10.7 million people and distributed close to half a million fact sheets, posters, quick cards, training guides and wallet cards. OSHA is again joining with other federal and state agencies and non-governmental organizations to spread the word about preventing heat illness. For example, OSHA is continuing its partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service to include worker safety precautions in their Excessive Heat Watch, Warning, and Advisory Products.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Always Tired? You May Have Sleep Apnea

May was Better Sleep Month, if you didn’t hear anything about it, now is a good time to learn about this disorder and how to treat it.

Obstructive sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, car accidents, work-related accidents and depression.

What is Sleep Apnea?

The Greek word “apnea” literally means “without breath.” With sleep apnea, your breathing pauses multiple times during sleep. The pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and can occur more than five times per hour, to as high as 100 times per hour. (Fewer than five times per hour is normal). Sometimes when you start breathing again, you make a loud snort or choking sound.

Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type, is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses. The less common form, central sleep apnea, happens if the area of your brain that controls breathing doesn’t send the correct signals to your breathing muscles.

According to Eric Mann, M.D., Ph.D., deputy director of FDA’s Division of Ophthalmic, Neurological, and Ear, Nose and Throat Devices, you may be unaware of these events since they happen while you’re sleeping. Because you partially wake up when your breathing pauses, your sleep is interrupted, and you often feel tired and irritable the next day.

Sleep apnea is almost twice as common in men as it is in women. Other risk factors include:

  • being overweight, as extra fat tissue around the neck makes it harder to keep the airway open,
  • being over age 40,
  • smoking,
  • having a family history of sleep apnea, and
  • having a nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies or sinus problem.

Children also get sleep apnea, most commonly between ages 3 and 6. The most common cause is enlarged tonsils and adenoids in the upper airway.

CPAP machine for sleep apnea

CPAP machines, the most common treatment for sleep apnea, use mild air pressure to keep your airways open.

“You should certainly tell your physician if you think you, or your child, is experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea,” Mann says. “But the diagnosis of sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea requires a formal sleep study.”

Polysomnogram (PSG) is the most common sleep study for sleep apnea and often takes place in a sleep center or lab to record brain activity, eye movement, blood pressure and the amount of air that moves in and out of your lungs.

Getting Treatment Continue reading

Safety Tips for Special Needs

Persons with Special Needs, once referred to as “Disabled” are unique in that they face several challenges and hardships in their daily life. A person confined to a wheelchair may seem like an easy prey to criminals and robbers. A disability can denote a physical limitation of any kind. One may be deaf, blind, mute or confined to a wheelchair due to mobility issues. Having limitations should never make one vulnerable or insecure. Physical capacity may have limitations, but that in no way means a person in this situation is defenseless.

Let’s have a look at some of the basic safety tricks to have up your sleeve to give a nasty surprise to those who might attack you and to keep yourself safe in general.

Learn Martial Arts

These may seem like an impossible suggestion, but most of the martial art forms can be mastered by disabled people. A martial art involves the study of the mind, body and spirit in equal parts to form a powerful whole. What the body can’t do the spirit makes up for.

The techniques and tactics involved in martial arts do not place undue stress on your physical ability. You can use the force and power of your attacker to your own benefit. Also you get to know of the pressure points on the body which can instantly weaken a person, if hit there. So try to enroll yourself for a class with a trained and willing teacher, and get transformed into a karate Black Belt.

Use Personal Alarms

These are very helpful to have if you are venturing out late in the night or stepping out on your own. The alarm used by joggers or the common audio alarm works fine. A flashlight can also help you raise an alarm in case of any untoward incident. You need to be extra careful while leaving a mall and entering its huge parking lot. These are deserted places and you may be isolated and alone. Don’t hesitate to ask an attender for help. Always keep in mind to inform your spouse or friend of your whereabouts.

Carry a Pepper Spray

The pepper spray is quite a useful and handy weapon when it comes to personal safety. The hot contents can cause intense burning and pain in the eyes, difficulty in breathing and disorientation. You spray it right into your attacker’s face and he will be out of action for a while.

The effect causes a temporary loss of vision and the feeling of being sprayed upon is pretty much like being ‘set alight’. Once the job is done make sure you get away from the place as soon as possible. Pepper sprays come in compact sizes and can easily fit in your pocket or hand bag. This is an effective weapon in warding off assailants and thugs, but do check if carrying a pepper spray on you is legal in your part of the country.

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Stun Them with a Stun Gun or a Taser

Stun guns are widely used self-defense weapons. They deliver high volts of electricity that can cause excruciating pain, temporary immobility, and disorientation. The use of a stun gun gives you enough time to raise an alarm or get away.

A Taser is more sophisticated than a stun gun. It can temporarily immobilize the attacker and put him out of action. The Taser is an electroshock weapon and can disrupt the voluntary control a person has over his muscular movements. The weapon releases two dart-like electrodes or probes that can travel up to 15 feet. They can pierce through thick clothing and get lodged underneath the skin, and the barbed shape makes them difficult to remove.

Safety and security should be accounted for at all times. There are innumerable minor threats and dangers hidden in the comforts of your homes as well. Here are A few tips you can follow to keep yourself safe at home.

1) Remove All-Scatter Rugs - They pose a constant danger of slipping and tripping. If you use a wheelchair they may get entangled in the wheels or they may slip while an elderly person walks on them, leading to a fall. Loop pile carpeting is suitable for wheelchair use.

2) Do Away with Skidding Wax and Floor Cleaners – The use of wax on floors increases the chances of a fall. Slippery floor cleaners should also be avoided.

3) Optimum Lighting - Always use bright lights and lamps that make it easy to see obstacles or objects in the way. This makes it convenient for you to see your way around the house. Properly-lit kitchens reduce the possibility of burns and cuts. Bathrooms should also be well lit. The stairways and ramps should have bright lighting to reduce the possibility of a fall.

4) Safe Bathrooms - Bathrooms are always wet and moist. Slippery floors, shower cubicles and bath tubs increase the danger of slips and falls. Textured bathmats help reduce the danger of slipping to a great extent. Toilet seats should be adjusted to your convenience and ease of use. Inside-tub seating arrangements and hand showers make it convenient for wheelchair users. Grab bars and guard rails should be placed next to the pot, the bath tub, and wherever necessary to ensure safety.

5) Ramps Ensure Accessibility - Ramps or gradual slopes are essential for wheelchair users to gain accessibility. They can replace stairs and steps, or be a part of an accessible route in your building or home. Handrails should be fitted for ease of use and safety.


Safety and security should always be of primary concern to the disabled and physically challenged. With proper precautions and good planning most of the dangers and threats can be strongly dealt with.

Itchy Butt

According to AARP (AARP, Inc., formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) there are easy solutions to Itchy Butt (Rectal Itch)…

Likely causes: Poor wiping, which can occur with aging-related physical impairment; prolapsed rectum; pinworms; anal warts sometimes caused by human papillomavirus (HPV); psoriasis; hemorrhoids; dyes or other agents in toilet paper.

DIY treatments: Wipe with unscented baby wipes rather than toilet paper — “and keep them in the refrigerator” for a cooling effect, suggests Rubin. (Just don’t flush them down the toilet, unless you really miss seeing your plumber.) Apply diaper rash ointment or antifungal powders sold for vaginal infections before bedtime.

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What a doctor may do: Check for diabetes or other possible causes of a yeast infection in the anus, and underlying colorectal conditions.

Noteworthy: Don’t use a washcloth on an itchy bottom, warns Rubin. It’s too irritating — and worsens itching. To check for pinworms — microscopic parasites in contaminated food that mature in intestines — place a piece of tape over your rectum at night and check for worms on the tape in the morning.

See more embarassing health conditions and what to do about them

AARP  is a United States-based non-governmental organization and interest group, founded in 1958 by Ethel Percy Andrus, PhD -  Did you know you need only be 50 to join AARP?