If you have been following recent headlines, you know that it has been asserted that the first case of the Ebola virus travelling aboard a commercial passenger airline has been confirmed.
According to the article, “Nigerian health authorities raced to stop the spread of Ebola on Saturday after a man sick with one of the world's deadliest diseases brought it by plane to Lagos, Africa's largest city with 21 million people.”
Since I am neither a health care professional nor a scientist, I cannot confirm one way or another whether the Ebola virus can be spread in this manner. What I can do, and encourage you to do, is to read up on the topic and come to your own conclusions. Furthermore, rather than go into “pandemic panic mode”, be prepared to hunker down if Ebola lands close to your homeland, wherever that may be.
Be Prepared for a Pandemic!
How to prepare for a pandemic? The usual: plenty of food, water, first aid supplies,face masks, and something to keep your mind occupied in the event you are confined to close quarters. Examples include books,playing cards, and board games. I also recommend essential oils but more about that in a moment.
You should also be prepared to physically isolate yourself. If a pandemic is even rumored, isolate yourself from large crowds, avoid commercial travel, and head out to your bug-out-location if you have one. If you work outside the home, plan to telecommute if you can and if not, take some vacation time. Above all, use common sense and keep a level head about you.
A Medical Doctor Weighs In On Ebola
You might remember Dr. James Hubbard from a recent Backdoor Survival Book Festival. He is the author of Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival and DuctTape 911: The Many Amazing Medical Things You Can Do to Tape Yourself Together. He had this to say:
Ebola is a horrible disease but, from what I understand, it is passed only by direct contact through bodily fluids. You don't get it by breathing the air or casual contact with someone. There have been instances in the past of air travelers having it, and no one else traveling got it. If someone with it comes to the U.S. and gets sick, chances are very good they're going to be sick enough to go to the hospital and become isolated.
The only ones with big-risk would be the ones who had been living with, or caring for, her/him. Since it's not airborne, it's very unlikely a widespread epidemic would break out here in the U.S.
Or is it? Airborne, that is.
When I asked him about this, he pointed to some information posted on his website and gave me permission to share it here on Backdoor Survival. Here are his thoughts including seven facts you should know about Ebola.
Unprecedented Ebola Outbreak. Could It Spread Here?
A new outbreak of Ebola is going on in Africa, and Doctors Without Borders is calling it “an epidemic of a magnitude never seen before”—not because of the number of cases or deaths. There have been more in previous outbreaks. It’s because of how the disease is spreading.
In the past, Ebola has always stayed confined to a small region. This time the same strain of the virus has been found infecting people several hundred miles from the original area.
The questions on the minds of many people who don’t live in Africa are, could it come here? If so, how do I prevent it?
What is Ebola?
Ebola is that horrendous viral disease in Africa (so far). It’s the disease with a death rate of up to 90 percent of those infected. The one where the victims sometimes bleed out of every orifice before they die.
But other than for humanitarian reasons or if we’re going to Africa, should we be concerned?
Well, for one thing, Ebola is on the U.S. list for potential bioterror agents. That’s because it’s highly contagious and there’s no vaccine or effective treatment. Also, though this is rare, people have traveled internationally with it before their symptoms started—including to the United States.
Stopping the Spread of Ebola: 7 Facts to Know
If Ebola becomes a problem, here are some key facts you’ll need to know to reduce your chance of getting it.
1. It seems to start in animals and meat. No one’s for sure, but it’s thought the disease starts in bats. They can have the virus without getting sick. Then they infect other animals, who do usually get sick.
People kill the other animals and contract the virus while either preparing the meat or eating it poorly cooked. Then the virus starts spreading from person to person.
2. After exposure, Ebola can kick in early or late. After someone is infected, the symptoms start anywhere from two to 21 days later.
3. Ebola doesn’t spread like the flu. This is the only good thing I know about this awful disease.
Flu: You can be contagious before you get sick.
Ebola: You’re not contagious until you have symptoms.
Flu: The virus can spread through fluid droplets in the air (like from a sneeze).
Ebola: Although it’s theoretically possible for Ebola to spread this way, it doesn’t seem to.
4. Ebola is highly contagious. You can catch it by coming in direct contact with any bodily fluids, including blood, semen, urine, saliva, vomit, or feces.
5. The symptoms make prevention more difficult. Symptoms make it hard for caregivers not to come into contact with those bodily fluids.
There’s profuse vomiting and diarrhea. And the victim’s blood can’t clot. So you can’t stop bleeding from the smallest scrape, prick, or bruise. Sometimes people spontaneously bleed out the nose, mouth, rectum, or urethra.
6. Ebola is still contagious after symptoms stop or the victim dies. Ebola doesn’t stop being contagious with death or recovery. Victims’ dead bodies still carry the disease, and people who recover may continue to be contagious for up to two months or more.
7. There are ways to protect yourself. It’s essential to protect yourself at all times if you’re caring for someone who may have the disease so you don’t come into contact with the bodily fluids.
Basically, cover yourself in impermeable products from head to toe. Think goggles, mask, disposable gown, gloves, and shoe covers. If you’re using needles, use them once only and dispose of them immediately.
Also disinfect your environment. Clean any exposed furniture, walls, or floors with a disinfectant, like a chlorine bleach solution, before future use. This may not all be possible during a long-term disaster, but do the best you can.
Essential Oils for Protection from Ebola and Other Viruses
In addition to healing, I am a huge believer in using essential oils to build up immunity in order to prevent sickness. I use essential oils myself and through trial and error, learn what works and what doesn’t. I read as much as I can so that I can learn and make informed choices.
All that being said, I keep a spray bottle with Shield protective blend and witch hazel with me at all times for use as a hand and gizmo sanitizer. I spray it everywhere, including on my phone, my keyboard, on pillows and bedding, and more. If I feel a sniffle or a runny nose coming on, standalone Shield goes in the diffuser 24/7.
But what about protection from Ebola or other deadly viruses? The jury is out but as far as I am concerned, staying healthy with a strong immune system can not hurt.
One thing I did do when the recent Ebola headlines hit was do some research to find studies that specifically addressed Ebola and essential oils. I had some help but neither one of us could pull up any verified studies. On the other hand, there have been some studies and articles linking Cinnamon and Ebola. I like the cinnamon link since the Shield Blend I use contains Cinnamon Bark in addition to Clove, Lemon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary.
I plan to keep searching for some credible information on the use of essential oils to mitigate Ebola, but in the meantime, any of the antiviral and antibacterial essential oils would be good to have on hand. Some examples are Thyme, Melaleuca, Oregano, Cinnamon and, of course, Shield.
How to Make An Essential Oil Protective Spray
Here is the recipe I use to make “Shield Protective Spray”. This spray makes a terrific hand sanitizer, room freshener, and all around disinfectant and protectant. This is so darn simple, it is embarrassing.
Top with Witch Hazel
Shake before using.
That’s it. Were you expecting something more difficult?
One more note. Shield Blend is actually an ancient blend based upon a legend that has its roots in 15th century England during the time of the great plague. Grave-robber thieves developed their own blend of Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Lemon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary to protect them while robbing the plague victims.
If you would like to try to make your own, here is a version that includes Lavender from Rebecca Schiffhauer at Camp Wander.
DIY Shield or Thieves/Robbers Blend with Lavender
45 drops clove essential oil
35 drops lemon essential oil
25 drops eucalyptus essential oil
20 drops cinnamon essential oil
15 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops rosemary essential oil
Combine the all essential oils and store in a dark 15 ml glass bottle
The Final Word
I am sure you will agree that when it comes to a dread disease, Ebola is horrific. Will it become a global pandemic? Will we be exposed? That is anyone’s guess. The best we can do is to limit our exposure to others and to be prepared for physical isolation. This is one of the few instances were moving to a bug out location or to a friend or relative’s home in the boonies would be a wise idea. For any type of pandemic, voluntary isolation is a good thing.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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