Ebola, Hygiene And Your Health: Questions For The CDC

A few practical day-to-day questions for the CDC from a physician-mom-patient-homemaker, Elaine Schattner contributor at Forbes.  These questions, and several others need answers, so we will follow and post updates accordingly. 

1. Can Ebola be spread by food handlers? Think of typhoid Mary. (Note that typhoid, or cholera, differs from Ebola in that it’s caused by a bacterial infection, not a virus.) But either might be spread by contaminated feces. There’s a reason why my grandmothers feared raw vegetables, unpeeled fruit and uncooked foods. Because if someone has infectious diarrhea, or carries a germ on his or her hands, they might contaminate the food or beverages (and dishes).

2. Along those lines…Is it OK to eat salad in a restaurant? What about salad bars? And does heat – as might be applied by cooking – kill the Ebola virus? Homemakers and chefs, and guys in trucks and food stands around the world, might benefit from knowing the answer to this simple question.
3. Does Purell kill Ebola? This is a very practical matter, as not everyone is in a position to wash their hands before, say, eating a sandwich on a plane. And if Purell is insufficient, what might ordinary people do to stay clean?

4. Can you get Ebola from a toilet seat? Seriously. I was traveling earlier this week, and I couldn’t help but notice the women working in hotel and airport bathrooms – whose job it is to keep those places clean. The CDC might offer guidelines (in many languages, clearly translated) about what you shouldn’t touch. And if you or they do accidentally brush up against an unclean surface, what then?

The risk of the CDC and local health authorities not addressing this sort question is that toilets will be left unclean – and then the odds of spread from just a few cases would grow. And if the answer is that cleaning workers, and homemakers like hospital aides – all, should all be trained in how to use Clorox CLX -1.32% or whatever it takes to clean up a bloody excretory mess, then do it.

Read the full article in Forbes here.

Doing Google searches on this subject is not necessary helpful, but please see from the CDC – Questions and Answers on Ebola

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