It has been confirmed that the patient has Ebola in Dallas. Bad new is this guy was given Anti-biotics during an Emergency Room visit on the 24th and then on the 28th he was taken by Ambulance to the hospital and isolated. So this fellow was probably showing symptoms from the 22nd until the 28th. Conjecture on my part assuming he was sick for a day or two before going to the ER the first time. I can’t when say the guy was infectious as I understand that at least some symptoms must be present to spread the infection. I will say, I don’t have a great deal of trust in the CDC or Government saying there is nothing to worry about and all you need to do is wash your hands to be safe. You can do more to take precautions to prevent getting the infection and dealing with it if someone get’s sick.
A few preventative measures I added this week:
- Added gloves, simple face masks, wet wipes, safety goggles and hand sanitizer to my car jockey box. You can get all of these items at your local dollar store for about $5.00. These items will help you stay clean and if someone develops symptoms you can limit your exposure right away! Watch cops and safety personnel for masks, gloves or goggles during your drive. If you see the first responders putting on those items get your stuff on and get home ASAP. You might feel a little silly but don’t take any chances. Remember Entro-virus D-68 is in 40 states and is very hard on children so you are protecting yourself from things besides Ebola.
- A few more items for the sickroom that I got at stores here in the valley. At the dollar store I got a 100 glove package, sort of like food service gloves. You can use these gloves for additional layer of protection over the close fitting gloves. Three more colorful plastic table cloths for easy sanitizing, three more spray bottles for cleaning or sanitizing the sickroom and equipment. One gallon of bleach because it is great for water purification as well as sanitizing surfaces. Shower caps from the dollar store 8 for a dollar to protect your head/hair from fluids. Heavy duty plastic utensils for eating that can be thrown away after use. Stopped by Lowe’s and got a 20 pack of N95 masks for $20.00 and a five gallon blue bucket and lid $4.00 to hold bleach water and cleaning cloths. I chose blue as my Bleach water bucket because both begin with letter B so it is easy to remember what is in the bucket. My spray bottle for bleach sanitizing has a blue top. Nursing a sick person is tiring so keeping things simple will help you avoid making mistakes when tired.
- Your Entry way or porch: Keep some wet wipes and a mask handy if things get bad and you need to meet people at the door. You can wipe off the door knob and put the mask on quickly if needed for protection. You can use these wipes on phones or small clean up jobs.
- The Amazon order: I ordered another box (6 pack) of the Tyvek protective suits. Already those suits are getting low or Amazon is out of stock. They still had the suits at Lowe’s but they are more expensive (double the price) compared to Amazon. I got the respirator with bag for rescue breathing without having to unmask to help the patient ($14.97) and I added a few essential oils that seem to help with colds.
- I know spending a $100.00 when you did not plan for it in your budget is tough but most of these things you can start buying at the local dollar store and get more later once the initial panic buying slows down. I don’t think these suits and masks will stay out of stock very long and should not even come close to the panic buying of guns and ammo we saw the last couple of years. You may have more luck checking the local big box stores outside of the DFW/Texas area rather than going on-line to shop.
On to caring for the patient. I saw a story on CNN.com about gal named Fatu in her final year of nursing school that had four relatives come down with Ebola and she nursed three of the four back to health. She had no hospital and only some medicines that were dropped off occasionally outside the home. Even the local doctor consulted only by phone. Now the story didn’t cover much but did say she would dress in 5 layers of garbage bags, gloves and masks. I think what she did after she treated each person she would remove a layer before taking care of the next person and do that for each family member and the first layer on and last layer off was for her protection. I wish the story covered how she cleaned/sanitized each layer or what she did to dispose of all those bags. At this time it seems that burning the contaminated waste is the best answer be it by the authorities or you use a burn barrel or pit if you are on your own.
All any person can do to treat Ebola is to support the patient with fluids and treat the symptoms as they appear. So aspirin or acetaminophen for fever/aches and pains. Lots of fluids and Vitamin C seems to help so stock up on Tang! I have added some Jello snack cups as well as saltine crackers, Lemon/Lime Shasta soda with vitamin C and ginger root for nausea. I have read that a big part of the problem with Ebola is the bodies immune system sort of goes into hyper active mode and can be destructive, so Benedryl may help calm the immune system somewhat and will help the patient sleep. So I added a couple bottles of generic benedryl from the dollar store.
Now Ebola is a very extreme event in West Africa but remember there is very little in the way of education, sanitation or clean food and drinking water. So the average US Citizen is already has a big survival advantage compared to your average West African. Also do not get complacent, after seeing the filth of the “Occupy Wall Street” tent villages Americans can be just as filthy and unhealthy as anyone if they don’t have the support of a good sanitation system. Last but not least if you get your sickroom all set up and you have stocked up on your basics for 60-90 days you are very well prepared for most diseases, storms and even a bank run. So if this is gets people motivated to prepare, some good may come out of disaster.