What are the common symptoms between the flu and Ebola? How to differentiate the two diseases? The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have launched an information campaign to help people differentiate between these two conditions.
The end of October marks the beginning of the flu season and, with it, the beginning of its characteristic symptoms. However, this recurrent pathology, which is known to patients, runs the risk of not being handled and treated with the same tranquility as the previous ones this year.
In fact, the concern motivated by the Ebola outbreak in Africa and the few cases of contamination identified in the United States and France in particular have triggered a real psychosis around seasonal flu. In question: misinformation and confusion around the “Flu syndromespecific to Ebola disease.
Cough and sore throat, specific symptoms of the flu
So how do you know if fever, headaches, fatigue or muscle aches are the warning signs of the flu or Ebola? A recent campaign, led by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), proposes rapid and synthetic diagnostic elements.
According to the government agency, it should be considered the symptoms of each of these two pathologies. If you have a cough, sore throat or nasal congestion, it’s the flu. Ebola does not have these symptoms, but is manifested by vomiting and diarrhea within three to six days of infection. Extremely frail patients also suffer from stomach pain and, in some cases, unexplained bruising and bleeding.
Influenza and Ebola, different modes of transmission
Another approach is to consider the transmission mode. If the flu spreads from one infected person to another through the air, when the patient coughs or sneezes, Ebola can only be contracted by direct contact. with blood or body fluids. Transmission is mainly through the skin or mucous membranes in physical contact with biological fluids or secretions such as vomit, feces, urine, semen, etc… of infected people.
It is also important to note that only infected patients with symptoms of the disease are likely to transmit the virus. These symptoms appear 2 to 21 days after exposure. At this stage, the contagious patient is too weak to move. In this sense, the risk of contamination is minimal both in the United States and in France.
Reassure patients and prevent them from the flu
The goal of the CDC campaign is first and foremost reassure American citizens. “There could be some public concern this year, or even confusion between the flu and Ebola.“said a spokeswoman in a press release. Indeed, at the time of the launch of the vaccination campaign seasonal flu, fillings are common.
“This flu season, flu-like symptoms for residents of the United States will likely be caused by the seasonal flu, not the Ebola virus.“The press release continues. which applies equally to France.
However, be careful not to underestimate the risks of the flu. If this disease is less dazzling than Ebola, it is nonetheless be taken very seriously. That’s why doctors strongly recommend that all adults and children older than six months get vaccinated, preferably before the end of October.
According to the World Health Organization, this pathology affects five million people worldwide each year and causes the death of 500,000 of them.