Infection protection: Advice on Ebola Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.
Ebola is a rare and life-threatening infectious disease. It belongs to the so-called viral hemorrhagic fever disease (VHF) and is caused by the Ebola virus (EV). Ebola is subject to reporting.
What information should be collected from persons who may be affected? Name and age of the patient Detailed information on complaints/symptoms and their onset and severity Indication of pre-existing conditions and medication intake, e.B. vaccinations and malaria prevention (does not exclude malaria in principle), vaccinations. Exact period of stay in an endemic area Type and place of accommodation Precise indication of the itinerary Stay in caves Professional activities in laboratories Further information on the stay, e.B. tourism, visit with relatives, professional activity in the endemic area Contact with wild animals, consumption of wild animal meat Sick people in the vicinity, funerals
How is Ebola transmitted? The Ebola virus can be transmitted from person to person. The transmission takes place via direct physical contact with Ebola fever patients or deceased persons, in particular through direct contact with their bodily fluids, e.B. blood, saliva, sweat, urine, stool or vomit. People infected with the Ebola virus are not contagious before symptoms appear. A transmission through the air has not yet been proven. Transmission is also possible via objects that have come into contact with infectious liquids, e.B needles, surgical cutlery, clothing or bed linen. Even in case of contact with infected animals or infectious animal products, the Ebola virus may pass on to humans, e.B. during hunting, meat preparation or consumption of insufficiently cooked meat (so-called "bushmeat") from animals from affected areas. How long is the incubation period? The incubation period is at least two, but usually eight to ten days, and after 21 days it can be assumed that no more illness is to be expected. What is the risk of getting infected in people with illness? There is a very high risk of infection only if there is unprotected direct contact with bodily fluids and body excretions of Ebola fever patients and deceased persons, e.B. blood, saliva, sweat, urine, stool or vomit. Adequate protective measures must therefore be taken in the case of care, treatment and burial activities. General hygiene measures, especially hand hygiene, are also of particular importance. How long is the risk of infection? A few days after the symptoms subside, patients are no longer considered contagious. Transmission by sperm during sexual intercourse is still possible for several weeks. Those affected must be informed and advised on the necessary preventive measures. What are the risk groups in Germany? Mainly people who have had direct physical contact with Ebola fever patients or deceased persons or their bodily fluids belong to the risk group. In addition to medical staff, this risk mainly affects caring family members of Ebola fever patients without adequate protection. Laboratory staff who have worked with sample material from Ebola fever patients may also be affected if protection against Ebola viruses was not sufficient. Symptoms The early symptoms are non-specific and resemble a flu-like infection: fever, headache, musculoskeletal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. In the course of the process, further symptoms may be added, but not all of them may occur: internal and external bleeding (hemorrhagic), which can be very severe, rash of the skin (exanthem), redness of the conjunctiva, sore throat, chest pain, difficulty swallowing and shortness of breath. Direct contact with an Ebola patient should be avoided. Medical personnel who attend a confirmed case must comply with strict hygiene and isolation regulations. What should a patient who suspects Ebola do? It is very important to keep calm. A telephone contact should be made with a doctor with reference to the suspicion of Ebola fever, a more detailed description of the symptoms, the places of travel and the duration of the trip. Then the doctor will discuss the next procedure with the patient. However, even if you travel to one of the affected areas within the last three weeks, the likelihood of Ebola virus infection is very low if there has been no contact with a person suffering from Ebola fever or died. Doctor's procedure: If the doctor can confirm a suspected infection with the Ebola virus, the competent health department should be informed and contact should be made with a specialised centre. Often, however, apparent suspicions can already be ruled out in a telephone call with a specialist centre. Contact details of specialized centres can be found at www.stakob.de . If the condition allows, the patient should remain on site until confirmation or exclusion of a suspected Ebola, e.B. at home, in the doctor's office or in the hospital ward in isolation. No briefing should be made to a rescue centre. Transport should also be avoided as far as possible in order to prevent contagion. What are the preventive measures? Unprotected direct contact with an Ebola fever patient or deceased must be strictly avoided. Medical personnel who are caring for a reasonable suspected case or a patient with confirmed Ebola virus infection must comply with strict hygiene and isolation regulations. There is no approved vaccine. Is there a specific therapy? There is no approved specific therapy. The treatment is therefore exclusively symptomatic, the quality of the medical care has an influence on mortality. The few specific therapeutic approaches are experimental. What do travellers need to know? The Foreign Office provides information on medical risks abroad on its website. It provides advice on countries and disease leaflets. The Federal Association bvÖGD and the ECDC also provide information for travellers in several languages. In addition to specialized established doctors, individual advice to travellers is offered in particular to tropical institutes and, in some cases, health offices. How likely is it that Ebola fever will occur in Germany? The risk of travellers bringing the disease to Germany or Europe is low, but it cannot be ruled out. Persons in the closest vicinity of the sufferers would have a risk of contagion due to human transmission. However, there is no danger to the population because Germany is thoroughly prepared for the treatment of people suffering from Ebola fever. There is a network of special isolation stations, which are designed both by the medical expertise and by the technical requirements for the treatment of such diseases (Working Group of Competence and Treatment Centers, STAKOB, www.stakob.rki.de). The staff there is specially trained for this situation and regularly trains the care of patients under isolation conditions. What happens if an Ebola fever case is introduced into Germany? There is a low risk of a person infected with the Ebola virus entering Germany. Should a patient still enter, the spread of the Ebola virus in Germany is virtually impossible due to the good medical care and preparations for such events. If passengers experience ebola-typical symptoms during the flight, the pilot should inform the relevant airport, which must have the status of a medical airport, in accordance with international health regulations. There, the patient would be isolated and interviewed by a doctor of the competent health department. If the suspicion of Ebola fever were hardened, the traveller would be taken to a special isolation unit for diagnosis and treatment. At the same time, people who were in close contact with such patients (seat neighbors and persons who directly cared for the patient) would be registered by the health board and asked to pay attention to ebola-typical symptoms over the next 21 days (maximum incubation period). If a person infected with the Ebola virus only becomes ill in Germany, they would also be admitted to a special isolation unit once the reasonable suspicion of Ebola fever has been established. All persons who have had close contact with her are identified and registered by the competent health department by interviewing the patient and his relatives or caregivers, informing them of the possible infection and monitoring for ebola-typical symptoms in their daily environment for 21 days. People infected with the Ebola virus are not contagious before symptoms appear. As the National Public Health Institute, the RKI works closely with the federal states on infection protection. Federal states with an international airport have experience in dealing with diseases that are introduced from the tropics.