Fact 1- What is Ebola?
As per Wikipedia, Ebola virus (EBOV also known as Zaire ebolavirus) is one of five known viruses within the genus Ebolavirus, which is a type of RNA virus. Ebola virus infects humans and mammals and is responsible to causing hemorrhagic fever which in 90% cases proves fatal. Ebola being a major threat to human lives is categorized in Risk Group 4 pathogen by WHO and CDC of the U.S.
Fact 1- Outbreak of Ebola
The first Ebola virus was identified in the year 1976 near Ebola river situated at Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa. The virus was named after the river. The outbreak flared up once again in the year 2014 in West African nations like Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Recently, 3 cases of Ebola infection has been reported in the United States.
Fact 2- Mortality statistics of Ebola
The U.S. Centre of Disease Control has reported more than 8,998 suspected cases of Ebola and 4493 people have succumbed to the viral infection. Death of the first infected patient in the United States has been reported on 8th October and the other two are been taken care of at respective hospitals in the U.S.
Fact 3- How does Ebola spread?
This is an important information for creating awareness about Ebola.
- Ebola virus DOES NOT spread through air (sneezing, coughing, etc.), water and food. Doctors say, Ebola is, “not a casual contact- acquired infection.”
You will get Ebola
- By touching body fluids (semen, saliva) and blood of the person who is infected with Ebola or has died from Ebola
- Touching or getting exposed to the contaminated objects like personal care, bedding, clothing, etc. and needles
- Touching infected animals (bats, monkeys, etc.), eating their meat or exposure to their body fluids in butchery places, etc.
Health care workers have been contaminated while attending patients due to lack of precautionary measures and training. Even people performing cremation of decreased patients have been infected to a large extent
Even if the individual has been survived, the virus remains in body fluids like semen and breast milk for 7 weeks and more and the virus gets transmitted while coming in contact with that person.
The infection spreads only after the patient develops symptoms.
Fact 4: Symptoms of Ebola infection
Symptoms develop with 2-21 days and they are:
- Sudden high fever as high as 105 degree F
- Severe fatigue, weakness, muscle pain and headache
- Lack of appetite
- Severe vomiting with blood
- Bloody diarrhea
- Bleeding from ears, eyes, gum and nose
Fact 5: Treatment of Ebola
There’s no specific medicine to kill the virus. Treatment involves restoring body’s vital parameters with IV drip lines for maintaining electrolyte balance, providing oxygen, administration of blood pressure medicines and anticoagulants, blood transfusion and other medical treatment options.
Fact 6: Vaccine for Ebola?
There’s no vaccine for Ebola virus. However, anti viral drugs and vaccines are undergoing clinical trials and will be soon introduced
Fact 7: Prevention of Ebola
The only preventive measure is not visiting Ebola infected zone and avoiding contact with patients.
Screening facilities for Ebola have been installed in airports to control spread of the disease from one nation to another
Fact 8: How to handle Ebola patients
- Caregivers, nurses and health care workers are given special training on how to attend Ebola patients
- It’s mandatory to wear special suits, goggles, masks, socks, gloves and boots while handing Ebola victims and training is also provided on how to use and remove them after use.
Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: October 21, 2014