TAKING ACTION: Ebola facts vs. fiction

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)– WHNT News 19 is Taking Action to separate Ebola facts from fiction.

After the outbreak in three African countries (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) and a handful of cases in the United States, the nation is on alert.

But do you know the facts?

First, know Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with blood and body fluids, not through the air or water.

For more on that, click here to visit the Centers for Disease Control website.

“You don’t catch it by being in the same room with somebody,” said Jim Goins, Director of Emergency Management. “You [have to] come in contact with them, touch their body fluids… like vomit, feces.”

Hospital professionals here in Huntsville believe the risk in North Alabama is slim, but they are taking precautions.

Some of you have also emailed WHNT News 19 to ask about rumored Ebola cases at Huntsville Hospital. Officials there say that’s false.

“We have had no confirmed cases of Ebola, in this department or at our hospital,” said Goins, quelling those fears.

This proves you should not believe everything you read online.

For more on actually confirmed US Ebola cases, click here.

Some patients may arrive to area hospitals with Ebola-like symptoms, though. That may make this flu season a little tougher than in years past, because in the early stages, these illnesses have a variety of the same symptoms.

“The body aches, the fever. The nausea,” said registered nurse Stacy Langford. “Any type of vomiting [too.] We will have to really screen, ask those key questions like have you been traveling, [etc.]”

Hospital officials say you should be honest when answering those questions.

A sign is posted on the ER door urging you to tell health professionals about any traveling you have done.

Of course, always remember to wash your hands too, recommended Goins.

Click here for the latest information on Ebola and its impact around the globe.


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