What is Ebola Virus (Ebola hemorrhagic fever)

Symptoms of the ebola virus
Symptoms of the Ebola Virus

The ebola virus disease or EVD is a disease which affects humans and other primates, that is caused by Ebolavirus. The symptoms from ebola can start anywhere between two days and three weeks after contracting the virus. These symptoms are much like sudden influenza: a fever, that can range around 38.3 °C (100.9 °F), sore throat, muscle pain and a headache. Patients can experience shortness of breath, confusion and dizziness. Soon after maculopaplar rashes appear, diarrhea and vomiting starts, along with decrease in liver and kidney functions.  Some people will experience internal and external bleeding. Coughing up blood, vomiting blood or blood in stool, as well as bleeding into the white of the eyes may also occur. Death can occur between 6 and 16 days after systems due to fluid loss inducing low blood pressure.

The ebola virus is spread by direct contact with blood or body fluids (ie. sweat, blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, tears, urine etc.) with a human or animal that is infected. The  virus can also be transmitted through a contact with surface that has been recently contaminated. BVD can also spread from breast milk or semen for several weeks to months after the patient experiences recovery. Ebola’s original carriers are believed to be fruit bats, which are able to spread the virus without being affected by it. Human became infected by having contact with these bats, or living and dead animals that were infected EbolaCycleby these bats. After humans are infected they tend to spread Ebola with other humans. Diseases such as cholera, malaria and meningitis , all resemble EVD’s spread pattern. Blood samples taken from test are analyzed for RNA, viral antibodies to confirm this diagnosis.

To control the spread of eblola, and other similar outbreaks, states and countries, must coordinate medical services as well as, is inform and engage their population. Medical services attempt to rapidly detect the virus, as well as, conduct contact tracing of those who have come in contact with the infection. People who are suspected of having ebola must be tested as soon as possible with quick laboratory access. If someone has died from ebola, medical services must take proper care of the disposal of the body, through cremation or burial.

Handling  of any potentially infected animals must be with protective clothing covering the face  with mask  and goggles and hands with gloves, with no skin being exposed. Samples of any body fluids must be handled carefully. To avoid potential wide spread outbreaks, countries with medical services must try to incorporate effective medical isolation procedures. Many countries in Africa, have not be able to contain the spread of Ebola. In Guinea, the outbreak is believed to have occurred based on un-restricted contact with infected corpse during burial rituals.

Currently there are no specific treatments for ebola available. The efforts to treat the infected are supported , through oral re-hydration therapy, or intravenous fluids. The symptoms are treated rather than the virus itself. These supportive care treatments tends improves patient outcomes. Ebola has a high risk of death, killing between 25% and 90% of those infected with the virus. The average rate of death is at 50%. EVD was first identified in Sudan, then Democratic Republic of Congo. This disease occurs in tropical regions of sub-Saharan Africa. As of October 25th, 2014  this outbreak has caused nearly 14,000 cases and 5,000 deaths.

Health Life Media Team