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Effective handwashing: Best way to prevent Ebola Virus

Recently, it was reported that the Ebola Virus has reached the neighboring city, Goma, by the Ministry of health. It is quite alarming because there still no vaccine to prevent Ebola. With the movement of people from Goma to Gisenyi, we are urged to take preventive measures.

A person can get contaminated by the virus through an infected person’s body fluids like blood, vomit, sweat, tears, saliva, urine, excrement, sperm, breast milk, vaginal fluids etc. Further, it can be transmitted through contact with the skin or bodily fluids or an infected animal. The symptoms of Ebola are fever, joint pain, headache, sore throat, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash, red eyes, stomach ache and bleeding through different body parts. Take a look at the symptoms on different stages on the image below.

The good news is that Ebola is not transmitted from air, food or most importantly water. Hence the best way to prevent it is by properly washing our hands with water. Proper handwashing can prevent the spread of dangerous germs such as Ebola Virus. This can be done by washing your hands properly for 20 seconds and rinse with running water. Wash them more often especially after any possible exposure.

When hands are not visibly dirty or soiled with blood or other bodily fluids, there is an alternative of using alcohol-based hand sanitizers. It is important to keep in mind that you cannot continue to use the hand sanitizer when hands are clearly dirty or have been highly exposed to infected areas.

With that being said, always wash your hands with soap and clean water or use the hand sanitizer and avoid unnecessary trips to infected areas. Stay awake and report any suspected case of Ebola via the Ministry toll free number 114. This is important because it can be mistaken from flu or any other illness due to similar symptoms. Share with your loved ones and stay safe!

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