Bleach, hand sanitizer could cause Ebola to be transmitted through skin
Ebola virus first made an outbreak in West Africa, but there have been detected cases of this disease outside the continent. In fact, governments across the globe are already increasing their alertness levels in detecting and keeping their territories safe from this deadly disease. The graph below shows the detection and death cases of Ebola virus as recorded by World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as of November 2014.
Once a person is affected by Ebola virus, an extraordinary influenza which is accompanied by muscle pains and headache will suddenly be felt. Additional symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, coughing of blood and bleeding in both the internal and external parts of the body start affecting the patient as well. When this deadly disease progresses to the point of blood loss and hemorrhage, the patient will be left grasping for his life, or eventually death is the next step.
The common means by which this deadly disease spreads is through contact with a human or animal affected by the virus, particularly through excretes body fluids. The virus brought by the disease is very strong, so even after a patient recovers from Ebola, he/she can still spread the virus to others for days. This, for example, happens through the milk from breastfeeding or semen exchanged during sexual intercourse. Among the many possible reasons of transferring an Ebola virus from one source to another, the issue arises as to whether it is really possible that a disinfectant solution can, one way or another, contribute to the transmission of the virus. Bleach or hand sanitizers might actually be the last thing in our mind to be responsible for spreading such a terrible deadly disease and so let us know how this very unusual cause could possibly become a transmission factor.
Now looking back to the series of recent transmission of Ebola disease, it has been observed that those persons free from Ebola virus but are actually involved in the treatment process of those patients suffering from the disease are the ones who are commonly affected by the disease next. Logically, this course of event is possible because of the medical team’s exposure to the treated Ebola patients. However, questions arise on what factors could be further promoting the transmission of Ebola despite the careful use of protective devices, safety equipment and protective clothing throughout the entire treatment process. In some and definitely not in all cases, the blame is pointed to the use of bleach and hand sanitizers during the treatment stage, hence raising serious questions about their role in Ebola transmission.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the components and function of bleach and hand sanitizers, and what roles they are playing during the medication of the Ebola disease. From there, we would be able to dissect the reasons on why these two products are currently being dragged to the issue of Ebola virus spread.
So what are the features that bleach solutions or hand sanitizers have that make them a part of the Ebola virus medication process? Basically, these two products are very helpful in preventing transmission of bacteria from one matter to another. This is the reason why they are highly available in clinics, hospitals and other facilities where the spread of germs and viruses has to be very much controlled. Bleach solutions and hand sanitizers, through proper and thorough application, are very effective in the prevention of contamination and spread of virus. If it is known to be able to beat the spread of virus, the question would now be: how could these supposedly sanitizing products cause the transmission of the Ebola virus?
Is the virus too tough to be defeated by the use of hand sanitizers? Although there has not yet been any particular drug that has been approved to cure Ebola disease, an intensive care given to the patients affected by the disease has been very helpful to the recovery stage. So from here, not a study could support that the virus has evolved to a point that the use of hand sanitizers cannot control its spread. However, there is one mode of transmission that is currently undergoing a thorough study by experts from Institute of Medicine. That is, the transmission of the virus through skin penetration. Studies show that sanitizers, especially those with ethyl alcohol, dissolves dermal lipids in the skin which is what actually makes it dry and so this further contributes to an increase of penetration level of other chemicals or can be tough viruses into our body through our skin. This is the main reason why bleach or hand sanitizers are still suspected as another factor in the fast transmission of the virus.