This is not to cause panic but to give you a heads up that Ebola may already entered the States.
“Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas has admitted a patient into strict isolation to be evaluated for potential Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) based on the patient’s symptoms and recent travel history. The hospital is following all Centers for Disease Control and Texas Department of Heath recommendations to ensure the safety of patients, hospital staff, volunteers, physicians and visitors. The CDC anticipates preliminary results tomorrow.” http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2014/09/29/north-texas-hospital-evaluating-patient-for-potential-ebola-exposure/
You need to start practicing your sanitation “rituals” and make them habits. Things like wiping down grocery cart handles and the seat that hold young children is one item to do if you don’t already wipe them down. Most of the larger stores in my area provide a handy wipe for their grocery carts. Have some of the handi-wipes, tissues, masks and some disposable gloves in the car should be added to the glove box. Start using arms and elbows to open any push doors and at every chance wash your hands with soap and water. Stay clear of those air driers as there are a few studies that state they may blow liquids around rather than just drying hands, use paper towels. Start watching yourself and your family and how many times they touch their face. This is something I have a really hard time controlling. Now is the time to learn not to touch your face with your hands or at least use a tissue.
I had already planned on getting more of the Tyrex suits from Amazon as well as adding the bagged respirator. Getting N95 or even N100 masks locally is not a problem at Home improvement or the local farm stores. Simple masks, safety glasses/goggles and disposable gloves can be bought at your local dollar store. I don’t have a problem using the Latex gloves but I prefer the vinyl gloves. Some people prefer Nitrile gloves that can be more expensive but even Wal-mart’s website has those gloves for $9.24 per 100. If you are allergic to latex get a different glove as you don’t want a skin rash that gives any virus an entry way through the skin. I’m always finding a new use for these gloves around the house especially in the kitchen handling hot peppers! These gloves work great in the car if you need to pump gas or check the fluids and want your hands to stay clean.
Cleanup and disposal of sickroom items. Bleach has shown to be a virus killer as well as a great sanitizer. To make a disinfectant solution with bleach, mix 1/4 cup of bleach in a gallon of water. Pour some of the mixture into a spray bottle or use directly from a bucket with a clean sponge/white cotton towel. I like using several Bar Towels tossed in a bucket with this mix. Adding more bleach than this ratio will not make it work better so don’t add more bleach to the water! Let the area air dry naturally or leave the are damp for a couple of minutes and wipe dry. Bleach will lose effectiveness over time so figure about 24-48 hours in an open bucket and around 7 days for a spray bottle full. Wash any cloth from the sickroom in a bleach solution and hot water. Big advantage for white cotton as it does not discolor when bleached. Now acid based like vinegar also clean but they do not sanitize as well as bleach. I use an Acid base cleaner for beer making that works great but I’m not sure if I would count on it for Ebola! Buckets with lids and a lot of garbage bags on hand for anything that touches the patient and needs to be disposed of such as paper plates, cups, utensils and anything that may have been touched by body fluid via a cough, sneeze, blood, urine or sweat. Bag it in a bucket and have a lid for the bucket before it is disposed of properly. Same for any cloth that needs washing that is dropped in your bleach water bucket. Buckets and garbage bags are cheap your life is not so if you don’t have extra buckets get some and remember these do not have to “food grade”. If you don’t have to use the buckets in the sick room they will still be handy to have and they don’t take a lot of room when stacked.
Now for some good news: Ebola is a tropical disease and it may not be as virulent in a temperate climate. So called “room temperature” in Equatorial Africa is quite a bit higher than most northern areas of the USA, Europe and Asia. Municipal Sanitation standards tend to be much higher outside of Equatorial Africa. With basic sanitation and support of a patient I think the fatality rate would drop to about 30% rather than the 50% we are seeing in Africa. A one in three fatality rate is still darn nasty to contemplate and deal with but it’s not TEOWAKI.
I don’t blame the average person in Africa as they tend to be ignorant but not necessarily stupid and the local PTBs would much rather line their pockets, rather than build basic sanitation projects or even educate the people. Some of these people are literally throwing away bars of soap because they have been taught to be suspicious of the west, with their history I can’t say that I blame them. Then again, soap does not take a hi-tech society to make. I think there is also a bit of blame that needs to be acknowledge at a local level as well. Honestly after watching “Occupy Wall Street” I can see how stupid the average American is about sanitation. I am quite fearful if basic sanitation breaks down in the states, I figure we would also see many “filth diseases”.
You have time to prepare for the 2- 21 day incubation period as well as have a sickroom in place and stock up on the basics that someone living on $2.00 a day could never get in place. I want you to consider how you would survive if your home was Quarantined for about 3 months to make sure the patient, home care giver and everyone in the home could not leave for any reason and either would die or emerge alive with no help from the outside? I personally would have a very difficult time being stuck for 3 months in a house with small children. Hopefully the Quarantine would be for just my home and city lot so I could get wood to stay warm. Remember in that situation keeping the healthy people safe is paramount, not taking care of sick people!
Prepare Accordingly, remember at the end of July the CDC said “There is nothing to worry about this Ebola Outbreak”. If you are prepared for something as nasty as Ebola you are prepared for almost every other communicble disease and have most of the items in place for any bio-weapon. Most bio-weapons are at best area denial weapons and work very poorly in cold or very hot weather. If You have plastic sheeting for windows and can make a containment area and clean room you should be somewhat safe.