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Updated on October 3, 2014
Unless you’ve been avoiding all news outlets and social media or been living under a rock the past few days, you’re probably aware that the United States had its first diagnosed case of the Ebola virus. If you’re anything like us, your first thought might have been, “Oh crap. We’re all going to get Ebola and die.”
Well slow your roll, hypochondriacs—that’s most likely not the case. After the recent confirmation of diagnosis of Ebola in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a statement on the control and prevention of the disease.
“We do know how to stop Ebola’s further spread: through case finding, isolation of ill people, contacting people exposed to the ill person, and further isolation of contacts if they develop symptoms,” the CDC said. “The U.S. public health and medical systems have had prior experience with sporadic cases of diseases such as Ebola. In the past decade, the United States had 5 imported cases of viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) diseases similar to Ebola (1 Marburg, 4 Lassa). None resulted in any transmission in the United States.”
In addition, Ebola is not an airborne disease and cannot be spread through casual contact. To contract Ebola you must be exposed to the bodily fluids of a sick person or to objects that have been contaminated.
At this point, it’s premature for even the most vigilant prepper to go into full lockdown mode. While the threat level is still pretty low, consider this diagnosis a storm-warning. A pandemic hasn’t hit, but now’s the time to prepare yourself for any further outbreaks. So what should you be doing now to prepare for a potential pandemic? We’ve got a few tips.
Check your stock of emergency foods. Restock any expired goods. We suggest having least one months supply of food that requires no refrigeration on hand.
Stock a gallon of water per person per day in clean plastic containers. In addition, you also want to have plenty of fluids with electrolytes.
Make sure you have a plentiful supply of medical supplies. That includes pain relievers, stomach and anti-diarrheal medication, disposable cleaning gloves, bandages and surgical face masks.
Antibacterial cleaning supplies such as disposable wipes, hand-sanitizer and bleach are a must. Make sure you aren’t running low.
Garbage bags, duct tape, zip-lock bags and toiletries are also necessities.
This diagnosis isn’t enough to go code-red panic mode. It’s just a good reminder to keep emergency supplies close-at-hand. Also, continue to keep a close eye on the news for when the threat becomes real.
If you’re still concerned about whether or not you have Ebola, consult this handy flow chart.
What do you think about the announcement of an Ebola diagnosis in the U.S.? Are you prepping for a pandemic? Leave your comments below.