Ebola Virus Infections Prevention And Symptoms
What is Ebola virus ?
Ebola virus (formerly officially designated Zaire ebolavirus, or EBOV) is a virus that causes ebola virus disease.
The Zaire ebolavirus is the most dangerous of the five species of Ebola viruses of the Ebolavirus genus.The virus causes an extremely severe hemorrhagic feverin humans and other primates. EBOV is a select agent, a U.S. National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Category A Priority Pathogen, U.S. CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Category A Bioterrorism Agent, and listed as a Biological Agent for Export Control by the Australia Group.
The EBOV genome is approximately 19 kb in length. It encodes seven structural proteins: nucleoprotein (NP), polymerase cofactor (VP35), (VP40), GP, transcription activator (VP30), VP24, and RNA polymerase The Ebola Virus genetics is difficult to study due to the virulent nature of the virus.
Ebola Virus Infection symptoms
Early on, Ebola virus infection can feel like the flu or other illnesses. Symptoms show up 2 to 21 days after infection and usually include:
- High Fever
- Sore Throat
- Stomach Pain
- Lake of Appetite (Hunger)
- Joint And Muscle aches
As the disease gets worse, it causes bleeding inside the body, as well as from the eyes, ears, and nose. Some people will vomit or cough up blood, have bloody diarrhea, and get a rash.
How Ebola Virus Spread
The WHO says it is believed that fruit bats may be the natural host of the Ebola virus in Africa, passing on the virus to other animals.
Humans contract Ebola through contact with the bodily fluids of infected animals or the bodily fluids of infected humans.
MSF says that while the virus is believed to be able to survive for some days in liquid outside an infected organism, chlorine disinfection, heat, direct sunlight, soaps and detergents can kill it.
The virus is not airborne, which means those in close contact can be infected and are most at risk. A person sitting next to an infected person, even if they are contagious, is not extremely likely to be infected.
The Ebola Virus Comes From
The dangerous virus gets its name from the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which was near the site of one of the first outbreaks. The virus was first reported in 1976 in two almost simultaneous outbreaks in the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They killed 151 and 280 people, respectively.
Certain bats living in tropical African forests are thought to be the natural hosts of the disease. The initial transmission of an outbreak usually results from a wild animal infecting a human, according to the WHO. Once the disease infects a person, it is easily transmissible between people in close contact.
Medicines And Treatment For Ebola Virus Infections
There is no proven medicine to control Ebola Virus.
For people with Ebola, treatment involves providing relief of Ebola symptoms while the body fights the infection. This type of treatment is known as supportive care. Ebola treatment can involve the use of intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and oxygen. Treatment may also include the use of medications to control fever, help the blood clot, and maintain blood pressure. Even with such supportive care, death occurs in 50 to 90 percent of people with Ebola.
- Intravenous (IV) fluids to maintain fluids and electrolytes (sodium, potassium, and chloride)
- Oxygen and devices that help with breathing
- Medications to control fever, help the blood clot, and maintain blood pressure
- Antibiotics to prevent secondary infections from bacteria
- Good nursing care.
Standard precautions from Ebola virus infections
- Avoid areas of known outbreaks. Before traveling to Africa, find out about current epidemics by checking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
- Wash your hands frequently. As with other infectious diseases, one of the most important preventive measures is frequent hand-washing. Use soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol when soap and water aren’t available.
- Avoid bush meat. In developing countries, avoid buying or eating the wild animals, including nonhuman primates, sold in local markets.
- Avoid contact with infected people. In particular, caregivers should avoid contact with the person’s body fluids and tissues, including blood, semen, vaginal secretions and saliva. People with Ebola or Marburg are most contagious in the later stages of the disease.
- Follow infection-control procedures. If you’re a health care worker, wear protective clothing, such as gloves, masks, gowns and eye shields. Keep infected people isolated from others. Dispose of needles and sterilize other instruments.
- Don’t handle remains. The bodies of people who have died of Ebola or Marburg disease are still contagious. Specially organized and trained teams should bury the remains, using appropriate safety equipment.