What Happens When a Person Gets Infected with Ebola?

Read Transcript

Let me show you a common scenario what happens when people get infected with ebola. Let's say it's been 12 days or how many days it took for the symptoms to start. After the symptoms begin, for the first three days, this is what happens. The patients will start to develop a little bit of a fever, temperature goes up and you'll start to feel with a little bit of virus, mainly get headaches and muscle aches and pain.

Most of us can't tell the difference between this and the flu. Now, inside the body what's going on over these first couple of days, is that the body is reacting to these viruses. The viruses are actually stimulating an immune response and the body is fighting to get back but it's weakening the body.

It actually starts to slow down your immune response. You are already exhausted on a bed, but as the virus starts to team, begins to overwhelm the immune system, it goes everywhere, you are exploding with viruses and by a week out, it's now dramatically dropping your blood pressure, as it tries to kill you and you have highly infectious projectile vomiting and diarrhea.

Some patients will even begin to bleed. That's why we fear it so much because it has this blood coming out your orifices in part because it's shutting down your liver. That happens at the very end, but this is when you're most contagious and this projectile fluid will travel in the air as far as it can but guess what? That's not our fear, it doesn't linger there, that's not what health officials are worried about.

Let me show you what they are worried about. I made a little demonstration, and I firmly believe that what we fear most is what we don't understand, if you understand this stuff you'll feel a lot more comfortable about what's going on with Ebola. It is fundamentally a weak link in the air.

You spray it and nothing happens, it goes out there and pretty much is gone, it's a dumb virus really because it kills the people that is in and it doesn't spread that easily. It's a winkling in cleansing solutions. If I put this in here, nothing happens, doesn't change color, you see the virus is there, it just doesn't do anything when you put it in into a clinic solution is quickly taken away.

How about in saliva? I put a little bit of virus in saliva and it doesn't seem to make much of a difference, so that's all pretty good news for us because these are the common ways that we spread for example the flu, but what happens as I showed you when the virus begins to overwhelm your immune system? Now all of a sudden, it gets into your body fluids, and when it gets into your body fluids, that changes the equation.

Now your body fluids are teaming with this viruses and as you get sicker and you can't control what's happening especially with your intestines you start to have this. Material coming out, diarrhea, vomit, even blood test can do this and is this materials come out and it gets on the surface, this stuff can last there for weeks in fact three weeks is what we are estimating now can happen when this stuff is lying around.

So, this is not just people who are taking care of the patient or nurses, this is the janitor taking care of the floor that the patient had problems with it and was in that room, and you get this stuff as you're taking care of someone who's deathly ill, and you pull it off and you've get a little bit on your skin, it's a major problem.

It's not like a lot other viruses that we face, and now you've got to get that off and it's hard to do that if you haven't paid attention to it. Even a little bit of particles like this can be an issue for us.