CDC: Yes, You Can Catch Ebola from Being Sneezed, Coughed on–or by Having Sex

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has posted a ‘new Ebola fact sheet’ (in PDF form) that explains via text and illustration that Ebola can be spread by coughing or sneezing.
ebola cdc cough
CDC.gov

The CDC also casually mentions at the end of the ‘fact sheet’ Ebola can be spread by having sex with an infected person.

The CDC document’s main point is to differentiate between airborne and droplet spread infectious diseases and explain that an infectious Ebola cough or sneeze might travel up to three feet in droplets of bodily fluids.

“Airborne spread happens when a germ floats through the air after a person talks, coughs, or sneezes. Germs may land in the eyes, mouth, or nose of another person.

“If a germ is airborne, direct contact with the infected person is NOT needed for someone else to get sick. Airborne spread diseases include: chickenpox, tuberculosis.

“Droplet spread happens when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose, or mouth of another person. Droplets travel short distances, less than 3 feet (1 meter) from one person to another.

“A person might also get infected by touching a surface or object that has germs on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

“Droplet spread diseases include: plague, Ebola.”

The CDC included a few helpful guidelines to “protect myself from getting sick”, one of which will alarm those who haven’t been paying attention to how Ebola can live on surfaces for hours and infect unwitting people via doorknobs, for example. (Don’t tell Dan Savage, please.)

“Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

“Cover your cough! Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

“Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

“Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

“Germs spread this way.

“Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces like doorknobs, faucet handles, and toys, since the Ebola virus may live on surfaces for up to several hours.

“Is Ebola airborne?

“No. Ebola is not spread through the airborne route nor through water or food.”

The document closes with an ‘oh, by the way you can catch Ebola from sex.’

“Is Ebola spread through droplets?

“Yes. To get Ebola, you have to directly get body fluids (like pee, poop, spit, sweat, vomit, semen, breast milk) from someone who has Ebola in your mouth, nose, eyes or through a break in your skin or through sexual contact.

“Air, food, and water do not carry the Ebola germs.”

Of course, it is hard to avoid Ebola infected people when they take taxis, ride the subway, go bowling, dining and jogging after the CDC lets them in the country from Ebola hot zones via ‘enhanced screening’ at airports.

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