Sex Education for the Real World…


Awkward Question: Can You Get Ebola From Sex?

Posted August 6, 2014 by Kimani in Sex Health

With the current news featuring the outbreak, this month’s Ebola scare starts to feel like an episode of the Walking Dead. Many believe the disease is transmitted simply by touching an infected individual, but there is quite a bit more to the explanation. Today’s Awkward Question is:

Can You get Ebola From Sex?

To understand transmission, we must first get an idea of what Ebola actually is. It is a rare, but deadly infection that causes internal and external bleeding of the body. Ebola gets its name from the Ebola River, which is near one of the villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo where the disease first appeared. The disease commonly strikes remote villages of Central and West Africa. Also known as Ebola Hemoragic (for the bleeding) Fever, the disease kills up to 90% of the people it infects.

What are the Symptoms of Ebola?

Many of the early symptoms of Ebola look like the flu or other mild illnesses. They include:

· Fever

· Headache

· Muscle aches

· Sore throat

· Weakness

· Diarrhea

As the disease gets worse, people who are infected may develop:

· Bleeding inside and outside of the body

· Rash

· Trouble breathing

How Can You Tell if Someone Has Ebola?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a person has Ebola from the symptoms alone.

Doctors may first test for other diseases that have the same symptoms as Ebola, such as:

· Cholera

· Hepatitis

· Malaria

· Meningitis

· Typhoid fever

Tests of the blood and tissues, such as the ELISA test, also can help diagnose Ebola.

If someone might have Ebola, they should be isolated from the public immediately to help prevent the spread of Ebola.

How Is Ebola Treated?

Right now there is no real treatment or cure for Ebola. Doctors try to manage people’s symptoms by giving them:

· Fluids and electrolytes through a vein

· Nutrition

· Oxygen

How is Ebola Contracted?

Contrary to the zombie diseases shown on television, Ebola is not contracted from being bitten by a sick individual.

You can get Ebola by coming into contact with the blood or body fluids of an animal or person who is infected. Animals that often transmit the disease include monkeys, chimps and fruit bats. Once an individual is infected, he or she can spread it to others.

People often get sick with Ebola when they care for or bury a person who has the disease. Someone also can catch the virus by touching contaminated needles or surfaces

Because of the transmission risk through bodily fluids, Ebola can be contracted through sexual intercourse. This may happen if a seemingly healthy individual (possibly in the early stages of the disease) comes into intimate contact with another. It is not recommended to have intercourse if you believe you have been in contact with someone who may have the virus.

How Can You Prevent Ebola?

Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent Ebola. People can avoid catching the disease by not traveling to areas where the virus is found.

Health care workers can prevent infection by wearing masks, gloves, and goggles whenever they come into contact with people who may have Ebola.


About the Author


A NY transplant in Florida, Kimani has taken on the task of educating the world on sexual health and education. The Mount Vernon native has seen AIDS and HIV spread through her community like wildfire, and hopes to cease the transmission of these and other diseases one person at a time. If you know better, you're inclined to do better.

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