What You Need to Know About Ebola

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With the recent identification of cases here in the United States, Ebola continues to dominate world headlines. The Ebola outbreak is concentrated in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, and has been contained in Nigeria. To date, the US has seen only four confirmed cases of Ebola–three in Texas, and one in New York–and the risk for most Americans, including those traveling to Dallas or New York City, is extremely low. Experts and public health officials feel that Ebola is very unlikely to become an epidemic in the US.

Even so, we take every public health concern very seriously and are committed to keeping you safe and well. We are closely following the situation and are in constant contact with local, state, and national health officials. We will continue to keep you informed of the latest developments. In the meantime, here are the essentials about Ebola, what you should do if you think you’ve been exposed to the virus, and what we are doing to prepare for further developments.

What are the symptoms of Ebola virus disease?

Symptoms of Ebola virus disease (EVD) may include:

  •         Fever
  •         Headache
  •         Diarrhea
  •         Vomiting
  •         Abdominal pain
  •         Weakness
  •         Muscle pain
  •         Bruising and/or bleeding

Symptoms can begin up to 21 days after exposure to the virus, although the average onset is 8 to 10 days.

How does the Ebola virus spread?

The virus does not spread through casual contact. You would have to be very close to someone with Ebola symptoms in order to become infected, and have direct contact with that person’s bodily fluids or contact with contaminated objects, such as needles. The virus can enter the body through breaks in the skin as well as the mucous membranes, such as the lining of your mouth or nose. It doesn’t appear to spread via aerosols, like those we expel when we cough or sneeze. Simply sharing a subway with  or living in the same neighborhood as someone with Ebola does not increase your risk. And–this is important to remember–people with Ebola are only contagious when they have actual symptoms, not during the preliminary incubation period when they have been infected but feel fine.

What do I do if I think I have been exposed to Ebola?

If you have worrisome symptoms or suspect that you may have been exposed to the virus, please call our office immediately, rather than book an appointment. This will help us direct you to the right location and provide you with the best care as quickly as possible.

Please do not head directly to a hospital or emergency room without first speaking with us.

Chicago: 312-999-5512

Boston: 617-419-2893

Los Angeles County: 323-305-7606

New York City: 212-441-4383

San Francisco Bay Area: 415-523-6317

What is One Medical Group doing to prepare?

We’ve formed a One Medical team of experts with representatives from all over the country. We’re following the situation very closely and are working with health officials as well as experts in infection control to ensure we’re ready for any potential turn of events. In addition, we’ve taken the following steps to protect our patients and staff, and make sure we are prepared in the case we do need to treat a patient with Ebola:

  • Our medical team is prepared to evaluate patients over the phone, quickly identify anyone who may be at risk for Ebola, and guide them in the process of getting quick and effective care.
  • We are ensuring that we are up-to-the-minute on the evolving protocols for evaluating and caring for sick patients, both over the phone and in the office.
  • We have personal protective equipment for our providers to wear if necessary, and have designated “safe” rooms to isolate patients if necessary.

How can I stay up to date on the latest developments?

Keep following One:Life for updates from One Medical Group, and visit the CDC for further information about Ebola.

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The One Medical blog is published by One Medical, an innovative primary care practice with offices in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

Any general advice posted on our blog, website, or app is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. The One Medical Group entities and 1Life Healthcare, Inc. make no representations or warranties and expressly disclaim any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person following the general information offered or provided within or through the blog, website, or app. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.