Last Updated on 3 months by Isreal Olabanji DST RN
Ebola virus is one of the deadly diseases mostly in African and some part of the world. Today we discuss in this article the causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of Ebola virus. It is one of the outbreaks and the latest diseases in Africa. Ebola has been on all the channels online and it has been a major concern of masses of people around the world.
The first cases of Ebola were reported simultaneously in 1976 in Yambuku, near the Ebola River in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and in Nzara, Sudan.
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Since then, eruptions or asymptomatic cases of Ebola in humans and animals have surfaced intermittently in the following locations due to outbreaks, laboratory contamination, and accidents:
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
- Sudan (South Sudan)
- United Kingdom
- United States (U.S.)
- Ivory Coast
- South Africa
- Sierra Leone
Outbreaks of Ebola Virus
The freshest epidemic occurred in 2014 in Western Africa. Overall there have been 6 major outbreaks. The death rate for Ebola is 70 per cent. With Thousands getting infected the number of death can quickly mount up. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the epidemic caused more than 11,000 deaths, with almost all occurring in West Africa.
In the U.S., reports indicate that there have been two imported cases, including one death, and two locally acquired cases in healthcare workers.
A small number of cases were reported in Nigeria, Mali, and Senegal, with health authorities able to contain these cases and prevent further spread.
Causes of Ebola virus
It is one of those diseases originating from the beast world. There have been many disputes as to what animal type was the cause of Ebola. Presently, scientists incline to the version that Ebola was caught by humans from the bats. Formerly they believed the origin of the infection was the monkeys.
The epizootic cycle or the virus (its rotation and spread in the animal world) appears to be starting with the bats, which infect apes and other mammals, such as deer, etc. Then the mammals pass on the virus to humans. However, the exact process of getting this disease passed on from beasts to humans unknown.
In many cases, large outbreaks of Ebola as one of the animal diseases amongst bats and other beasts precede human epidemics.
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Etiological factor and name
The name of this virus derives from the river name in Africa – Ebola river of Zaire. That is where it has been found originally. Presently, scientists discern 5 types of the virus. At this one of them is not contagious for humans (it’s the Reston virus). The other four are Zaire virus, Tai Forest virus, Sudan and Bundibgyo virus.
Ebola is a type of hemorrhagic illness. Like all viruses, Ebola is not an organism, but rather is a tiny string of RNA (ribonucleic acid) that builds up into the human body cells and infects them. It mostly gets installed into the body proteins.
Transmission and Prevention of Ebola
The main transmission method is through body liquids. The only prevention is to shun interaction with the virus carrier and to wear rubber gloves and medical overalls when handling body wastes or infected people.
It is still unknown how individuals are infected with Ebola, so stopping infection is still difficult. Preventing transmission is achieved by ensuring all healthcare workers wear protective clothing
implementing infection-control measures, such as complete equipment sterilization and routine use of a disinfectant solution of Ebola patients from contact with unprotected persons.
Thorough sterilization and proper disposal of needles in hospitals are essential in preventing further infection and halting the spread of an outbreak.
Ebola tends to spread quickly through families and among friends as they are exposed to infectious secretions when caring for an ill individual. The virus can also spread quickly within healthcare settings for the same reason, highlighting the importance of wearing appropriate protective equipment, such as masks, gowns, and gloves.
Together with the WHO, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a set of guidelines to help prevent and control the spread of Ebola
Infection Control for Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers In the African Healthcare Setting.
Signs and Symptoms of Ebola Virus
The signs of Ebola on its initial stage greatly resemble those of malaria. The time interval from infection with Ebola to the onset of symptoms is 2-21 days, although 8-10 days is most common.
That is why in some cases it was not timely diagnosed and patients with Ebola were released from the hospital. That is exactly what happened during the latest outbreak in Africa when an individual with Ebola arrived in Nigeria on the plane. Here are some of its symptoms:
- A headache
- High fever
- Joint pain and weakness
- Stomach pain, etc.
There is currently no licensed vaccine available for Ebola. Several vaccines are being tested, but at this time, none are available for clinical use.
Treatment of Ebola Virus
At the moment, treatment for Ebola is limited to intensive supportive care and includes:
- balancing the patient’s fluids and electrolytes
- maintaining their oxygen status and blood pressure
- treating a patient for any complicating infections
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