With Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea being ravaged by Ebola and showing no signs of coming under control, the potential for it being spread elsewhere around the world still remains very high. Furthermore, although it may not be as big of a threat to American life as main stream media would like you to think… AT THE MOMENT… it could still get a lot worse, and as the old survival adage goes: “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst”. With all this mind, we at the UrbanSurvivalNetwork.com have come together to create this thorough preppers guide to Ebola.
- The current outbreaks have a death rate of 50% on average
- 2 to 21 day incubation period
- Only contagious once you show symptoms
- Early signs and symptoms include sudden onset of fever, weakness, headache, muscle pain, and sore throat.
- Symptoms progress into vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.
What is the Ebola Virus and How is it Spread?
Formally known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, it’s an often fatal illness that effects both human and non human primates (monkeys). Depending on the strain it has a death rate ranging anywhere between 25% and 90%. The current outbreaks have a death rate slightly higher then 50% but depending on the quality of health care provided, that rate can be greatly reduced.
Based on what evidence is available, the initial outbreaks are primarily caused by fruit bats (the most likely carrier of the virus) that come in contact with other animals that are then eaten by humans (monkeys, and pigs mostly).
In terms of how the virus is actually transmitted though is still up to debate. The consensus is that it is spread through the exchange of bodily fluids (including tiny droplets of saliva from coughing and sneezing) that come in contact with your skin, eyes, mucus membrane, and blood (through scratched, damaged skin or otherwise). Due to the fact that it can be spread from such small amounts of fluid (such as a tiny droplet) every precaution must be taken to have absolutely zero skin exposure when dealing with an infected patient and the environment around them. Soiled clothing, linens and other articles from the infected patient still contain the virus and so proper disposal and decontamination of the infected environment and objects are essential.
What are the Symptoms of the Ebola Virus?
During the 2 to 21 incubation period, the Ebola virus will show no signs or symptoms and can only be detected though laboratory testing. Just to be clear the “incubation period” refers to the time between infection to the first sign of symptoms (and note: humans are only infectious once they’ve developed symptoms). The first symptoms will typically include the sudden onset of fever, fatigue, muscle aches, and a sore throat. It’s important to point out that there have been cases of infectious individuals with no fever! (which is very scary if you think about it).
As the infection progresses the symptoms will most typically progress into vomiting, diarrhea, impaired liver and kidney function, boils, and bleeding (both internally and externally). The bleeding will most likely be seen in stools, and oozing from the gums, but can also come out of the eyes, nose, ears, and in urine. Despite what pop culture and MSN (main stream media) says though, blood coming out of all your pours is not the norm.
How to Protect Yourself from Contracting Ebola?
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. The answer to this is fortunately quite simple (for now anyway). Unless the current outbreaks continue to spread, reaching western countries, and the CDC and WHO have totally lost control, you really don’t have much to worry about. If however you feel it’s necessary to protect yourself, follow these steps:
- Avoid going to places where you know there will be a lot of people.
- Wash hands thoroughly on a regular basis.
- Avoid touching railing, handles and other commonly touched items when out in public.
- Don’t go to the countries currently struggling with outbreaks of Ebola
- Practice impeccable hygiene and sanitation.
If the current outbreak does spread to your area though and locals contract the virus, you’ll want to take your safety to the next level. You might want to consider Bugging Out temporarily (or permanently) until the virus has burnt out.
If bugging out is not an option you’ll want to stay at home when possible and minimize contact with the outside world. To do this, you’ll need an adequate food/water supply plus all the right gear (and know how to use that gear) to deal with an infected person if it become necessary.
What do I Need to Protect My Self and Family from Ebola?
Skills trump gear for the most part when it comes to survival… but when it comes to something like Ebola, you’ll NEED the proper protective gear to keep you safe. You can always improvise gear but it’s not recommended. Don’t cut corners when it comes to something as deadly and contagious as Ebola. In this list I’ve included a food supply, and water storage items as they’ll be needed in a pandemic like crisis.
1. Easy Prep 1 Month Food Supply: I recommend at least 3 months worth of food, this brand is great!
2. Mainstay Emergency Food Rations: Bland and you’ll get sick of it fast, but cheapest price/calorie. This pack of 20 could potentially feed someone for 2 months. It’s a good, cheap supplement for your food supplies.
3. WaterBrick’s: Perfect for storing water discreetly in any home or apartment. Also easy to transport.
4. Sawyer PointONE All in One Filter: Best filter on the market, the PointONE is best for filtering larger volumes of water.
5. Dupont Tyvek Disposable Coverall: I suggest getting a lot of these, adequate to deal with Ebola. 1.
6. 3M Faceshield: You’ll want complete protection, even if you think it’s going overboard!
7. BioSafety Hoods: Just another layer of protection.
8. 3M Goggles: Even a tiny droplet from a sneeze is enough to infect you, more protection the better.
9. 3M N95 Respirators: Effective at stopping Ebola, just be sure to have a tight seal around your face. Be sure to shave your face prior to donning the mask as your hair can leave gaps.
10. Fluid Resistant Isolation Gowns: Cheap extra layer of protection. Why not?
11. Nitrile Gloves: Don’t get the standard latex gloves as they can rip and are porous.
12. Nitrile Boots: Be sure to have these under the suit, can be sterilized with bleach and reused.
13. 3M Duct Tape: Needed to tape down the suit around your gloves and boots.
14. Bio-hazard Bag: To remove soiled linens, clothing, and other wastes.
15. Chemical Sprayer: Perfect for decontaminating.
16. Clorox Liquid Bleach: Effective against Ebola, you MUST let it sit for several minutes though.
17. Purell: Don’t take chances, use it often when around Ebola.
18. Where There is No Doctor: For when the medical authorities are overburdened and you have take medical matters into your own hands.
19. Ebola Survival Handbook: Everything you need to know about Ebola.
How to Use The PPE (Personal Protective Gear)?
To explain it in words would be quite difficult so I’m attaching this video produced by DuPont on the proper donning and doffing of PPE. Here it is:
Pay close attention and you’ll notice that not even the actor does it properly. You need to be incredibly vigilant not to touch anything from the outside. The suit and gear has to be peeled off like a banana. There are a ton of good videos on YouTube regarding the proper use of PPE. I suggest you check them out.
When to Contact the Medical Authorities Regarding Ebola?
For the safety of yourself and everyone else around you, I’d suggest contacting the medical authorities right away if you or a loved has come in contact with someone suspected or known to have Ebola. If it’s determined that you were at risk, you’ll be asked to go into a voluntary quarantine for 3-4 weeks to prevent any further possibility of transmission.
If you start showing any signs of Ebola (which can be confused with other illnesses like the seasonal flu), inform medical authorities. You may feel that you’re going overboard by being so cautious but when lives are at stake… Don’t take chances.
How to Stop the Spread of Infection?
This is important for us survivalist to know since outbreaks will surely happen post collapse and there wont be any CDC or WHO to thwart an outbreak. In the post collapse future it will be us who have to deal with the various viruses and infectious diseases. There are several methods the WHO and CDC use to try and curb the spread of Ebola.
Community Education and Mobilization: To prevent large gatherings of people, pamphlets will be given out to every home with information about the virus, covering everything, including procedures for treatment, hygiene, sterilization, symptoms, and quarantining. The second part it to give advanced training for able bodies to detect, treat, and assist with quarantines.
Quarantine: If the local hospital lacks proper facilities, a walled off location that can be adequately contained/sterilized must be made or found. There should be a room/facility for confirmed cases, and separate rooms for suspected cases (do not keep suspected individuals together).
In the case of survivalist, it would be wise to have the quarantine room stocked with all the water/food needed for the suspected individuals stay to limit contact with them.
Contact tracing is the investigative work to find everyone that a suspected individual came into close contact with over the period in which they were symptomatic (contagious). The people who came into contact with the suspected individual should limit social interactions until it’s been confirmed whether or not the suspect actually has Ebola. If confirmed, all people who came into contact are now possible carriers of Ebola.
Currently there is no specific treatment for the disease but the chance of survival can be greatly improved with early supportive care.
Standard Support: Due to vomiting and diarrhea, patients will be dehydrated and require electrolytes plus a lot of fluids. Symptoms like fever, anxiety, and muscle pain can be treated with the various medications. You’ll want to do your best to keep the patient comfortable and stable. Note: there is no evidence to suggest antibiotics will help if taken before a confirmed diagnosis.
Intensive Care: Intensive care should be administered if available and will include such procedures as a kidney dialysis, maintaining blood volume, balancing electrolytes, treating bacterial infections, and possibly blood coagulation to slow down bleeding.
Alternative Medicine: There have been a few unverified claims from marketers out there that their products are effective against Ebola. One such company promoting colloidal silver has recently got into a lot trouble for claiming their product worked. I’m without a doubt that there are alternative medicines that work for Ebola… but please be skeptical and due your research.
Vaccines: Currently there are no vaccines that work against the Ebola virus but scientist around the world are working on it and will hopefully have it made soon.
We’re living in perilous times, on the edge of self destruction. Ebola may fizzle out or it could possibly spread around the globe. As students of survival, we must prepare ourselves for the imminent collapse ahead and all the pestilence and disease that will come with it. If there’s anything that this Ebola outbreak will teach you, it’ll be how to manage similar outbreaks in the future. Live long fellow preppers!