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The Great Ebola Scare

Fact 2: Direct Contact Is Usually the Culprit

Most Ebola cases are transmitted through direct physical contact with infected bodily fluids, such as blood or vomit. This is why people caring for Ebola patients (such as healthcare workers or family members) are at a high risk.
 
Yes, it's true that fomite transmission appears to be possible. What is fomite transmission? It's transmission through an inanimate object, such as bedding and clothing, especially surfaces that are visibly contaminated with blood or other bodily fluids. However, the virus is easy to kill on surfaces (standard disinfection procedures work just fine), and research suggests that it probably doesn't remain infectious on surfaces very long in "real world" situations, since it's inactivated by heat, light, and drying.
 
Need a more intuitive way to convince yourself that fomite transmission isn't a major mode of transmission? Typically, kids are less likely to get Ebola, compared to adults. It's assumed that this is because kids don't take care of sick people. However, kids touch everything and then rub their eyes and mouths all the time. If fomite transmission was easy, we'd probably be seeing much higher rates of infections in kids.
 

Fact 3: Transmission Is Unlikely Curing Incubation

Some infectious diseases are contagious during the incubation periods (the period of time between exposure to a pathogen and development of symptoms). These types of infections can spread like wildfire since people can infect others before they have any idea they're sick.
 
Fortunately, Ebola isn't infectious during the incubation period. That being said, the earliest symptoms of the virus aren't very specific and could easily be mistaken for other viral infections, such as a cold or the flu. However, the symptoms usually become severe quite rapidly, limiting the length of time a person is likely to be out in the community infecting others.
 
This is exactly why the standard method of daily temperature taking for people who've been exposed to Ebola is effective for stopping its spread. With daily temperature taking, Ebola cases can be caught as soon as they've become symptomatic, greatly limiting the chances for spreading the virus.
 

Background on Ebola

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