Richmond African Community Network holds Ebola Q&A

Published: Oct. 12, 2014 at 10:09 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 22, 2014 at 10:09 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Health officials in Richmond are trying to educate and talk to people about the virus right now. The African Community Network hosted a question-answer town hall meeting Sunday with two state health department epidemiologists on the topic of Ebola.

The main goal is to let everyone know how exactly the virus is spread and what to do if you think you have it. Many people who attended the Q&A session have family or relatives living in the midst of the Ebola outbreak in Africa.

Health experts hoped that those in the audience would not only tell friends and family here what they learn, but also in the countries affected like Liberia.

The epidemiologists stressed that Ebola can only be transmitted through fluids from an infected person, entering a porous opening of someone else like the eyes, nose, mouth or a cut.

Virginia Health Department epidemiologist Okey Utah said, "We want them to know that people don't get Ebola through food, air or water. You have to be in contact with the bodily fluids of somebody who is symptomatic, and has been diagnosed with Ebola."

Ebola symptoms take two to 21 days to show up. It starts like the flu, usually with a temperature of at least 101, then the sickness can escalate to internal bleeding.

A person isn't contagious until they are showing symptoms.

Health experts are urging anyone here in the United States who thinks they somehow were exposed to someone who may have the virus to call your doctor or hospital first. That way, they can prepare properly for your arrival.

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