1. If someone in an apartment building is diagnosed with Ebola, will other residents become infected as well? What are the real risks?

At the present time, the risk appears to be contained to people with direct contact with a symptomatic patient, or that person’s bodily fluids including saliva, mucus, vomit, feces, sweat, tears, breast milk, urine, and semen. We encourage you to visit the CDC website for updated information and safety precaution tips and we will update our website with any new information as it becomes available to us.

  1. Is Ebola transmissible through contact with contaminated surfaces like elevator buttons, stair railings and door knobs?

 According to the latest information from the CDC, Ebola on dry surfaces such as doorknobs and counter-tops can survive for several hours. If you have any belief that your apartment has symptomatic people, try to avoid “common touch” areas by using a tissue or handkerchief. Also, wash your hands frequently and have bleach-based hand wipes available.

  1. What guidance should I offer custodial, janitorial and maintenance staff, who sometimes have to clean up vomit or urine?

We echo the public health officials by recommending an abundance of caution on these tasks. Ebola is most commonly transmitted through bodily fluids including saliva, mucus, vomit, feces, sweat, tears, breast milk, urine, and semen. Out of caution they should wear gloves, booties, protective glasses and surgical masks, but please note these are not official CDC guidelines. We encourage you to visit the CDC website for updated information and safety precaution tips and we will provide you with any new information, as it becomes available to us. If you suspect a resident has Ebola, contact your local health officials and the CDC for further guidance before advising staff on clean-up procedures.

  1. Is the Ebola virus spread through the air? Can Ebola spread by coughing? By sneezing?

Unlike respiratory illnesses like measles or chickenpox, which can be transmitted by virus particles that remain suspended in the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes, Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with body fluids of a person who has symptoms of Ebola disease. Although coughing and sneezing are not common symptoms of Ebola, if a symptomatic patient with Ebola coughs or sneezes on someone, and saliva or mucus come into contact with that person’s eyes, nose or mouth, these fluids may transmit the disease.

  1. What does “direct contact” mean?

Direct contact means that body fluids (saliva, mucus, vomit, feces, sweat, tears, breast milk, urine, and semen) from an infected person (alive or dead) have touched someone’s eyes, nose, or mouth or an open cut, wound, or abrasion.

  1. Does bleach kill the virus?

Ebola is killed with hospital-grade disinfectants (such as household bleach). Ebola on dry surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops can survive for several hours; however, virus in body fluids (such as blood) can survive up to several days at room temperature.

  1. Q. How long does the Ebola virus remain contagious when in contact with an inanimate surface? How long does Ebola live outside the body?

Ebola is killed with hospital-grade disinfectants (such as household bleach). Ebola on dry surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops can survive for several hours; however, virus in body fluids (such as blood) can survive up to several days at room temperature.

  1. Q. Is sweat contagious? What about other bodily fluids?

Ebola has been detected in blood and many body fluids. Body fluids include saliva, mucus, vomit, feces, sweat, tears, breast milk, urine, and semen.

  1. Should gyms and fitness centers be closed?

(Dallas health officials answered this question directly) No, regular cleaning that all gyms and fitness centers undergo to prevent other infections and transmissions is more than sufficient.

Note that this is the latest information from health officials as of 5:00 P.M. EDT, October 16th, 2014

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