What the Current Ebola Outbreak Can Teach Us About Preparedness: Food4Patriots Offers Tips for Keeping Your Family Safe

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With well over 1,900 casualties accounted for, the Ebola Outbreak continues to rage on, as the best minds in modern medicine continue to try and crack the code for a cure, and isolate the heartless disease.

The Ebola virus is described as a group of viruses that cause a deadly kind of hemorrhagic fever. The term “hemorrhagic fever” means it causes bleeding inside and outside the body. The virus has a long incubation period of approximately eight to 21 days. Early symptoms include fever, muscle weakness, sore throat and headaches. As the disease progresses, the virus can impair kidney and liver function and lead to external and internal bleeding. Its one of the most deadly viruses on Earth with a fatality rate that can reach between approximately 50 to 90 percent. There is no cure.

In this and future severe epidemics, it’s imperative that we are equipped with appropriate prevention measures.

Here are some useful tips on Ebola prevention, taken directly from the Mayo clinic’s website:

  • Avoid areas of known outbreaks. Before traveling to Africa, find out about current epidemics by checking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
  • Wash your hands frequently. As with other infectious diseases, one of the most important preventive measures is frequent hand-washing. Use soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol when soap and water aren’t available.
  • Avoid bush meat. In developing countries, avoid buying or eating the wild animals, including nonhuman primates, sold in local markets.
  • Avoid contact with infected people. In particular, caregivers should avoid contact with the person’s body fluids and tissues, including blood, semen, vaginal secretions and saliva. People with Ebola or Marburg are most contagious in the later stages of the disease.
  • Follow infection-control procedures. If you’re a health care worker, wear protective clothing, such as gloves, masks, gowns and eye shields. Keep infected people isolated from others. Dispose of needles and sterilize other instruments.
  • Don’t handle remains. The bodies of people who have died of Ebola or Marburg disease are still contagious. Specially organized and trained teams should bury the remains, using appropriate safety equipment.

Storing food

Food4Patriots Allen Baler suggests storing food to avoid potentially contaminated meats during crisis.

“When we talk about emergency food, its usually in the context of storing food with a long shelf life that you can access quickly when store shelves are stripped bare following a disaster. Another very possible scenario, however, is that there could be plenty of meat available in stores, but people are afraid to eat it because it might be contaminated by a disease. That would be another very good time to dip into your emergency food supply, at least until the crisis has passed. Of course, this assumes that you have an emergency food supply. Many people talk about stockpiling food for an emergency, but most of them never get around to actually doing it until its too late. Health experts tell us that its only a matter of time before an epidemic hits the U.S. hard, and when it does, many people are going to wish that they had stockpiled a wide variety of nutritious, good-tasting food with a long shelf life. ”

Food4Patriots can offer further commentary on preparing for uncertain situations with emergency food stores.