I have hoped to find an excellent resource for parents and families about the Ebola virus. I have found one here at the Healthy Children website, which is affiliated with the American Academy of Pediatrics. The information is excellent and accurate. In addition, here is a link to the Centers For Disease Control webpage about Ebola.
As I said on Facebook earlier this week, there will very likely be more deaths this year in the U.S. from influenza than there will have ever been cases of Ebola. Although the chance of dying from Ebola is much greater (about 40-50% so far), there will be many more cases of influenza in this country.
To limit the spread of the virus, it is very, very important to limit the contact someone with possible Ebola viral infection has with others. If someone has travelled to West Africa or had a known exposure to someone with Ebola virus AND has symptoms of fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising, walking into a doctor's office, urgent care, or emergency room without letting them know ahead of time may needlessly expose many people to the virus. If your child or yourself have the symptoms and the possible exposure, CALL your doctor's office for advice. Because of the severity of the symptoms, children and adults with Ebola will need to be evaluated and cared for at the hospital.
Remember that we are in the midst of the Fall cold and flu season (although we have not yet seen cases of influenza this Fall as of mid-October). Many people with no direct contact with Ebola will have the same symptoms of Ebola -- just not as severe -- this illness season in the U.S. Many of these are routine illnesses that will pass with routine care. Do your best to lessen your risk of becoming sick this illness season with wise, routine measures: 1. have you and your family receive the influenza vaccine, 2. make sure yourself and your children are up to date on other vaccines, 3. eat healthy, 4. get plenty of sleep, 5. stay active, 6. wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer regularly, and 7. avoid as best you can people how are sick.