One of the most dangerous diseases is Ebola virus disease. It causes a serious and severe condition in both human and nonhuman primates.
The fact is, viruses causes Ebola.
However, viruses have been around millions of years because they are smarter.
The Ebola feeds, and retreat back into the shadows, where it lands and mutates.
Ebola virus spread through body contact, body fluids and in tissues of infected primate and it spread rapidly.
The Ebola virus originates from animals and they spread to human, what is termed as zoonotic
What is Ebola?
Ebola is a fatal disease caused by infection of the Ebola virus.
The virus mutates and spreads very quickly.
The fatality rates of Ebola virus vary depending on the strain.
There are five popular strains of the Ebola virus. In which, four of them affect human being.
Only one affects nonhuman primates like monkeys, gorillas, chimpanzees, and pigs.
History of Ebola
The threat of Ebola has been a big crisis since identified in 1976 in Yambuku, near the Ebola River in Zaire(Democratic Republic of Congo).
Further research in Reston by the United State Army Medical Research and Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) was carried out.
It was named Ebola because of it’s first discovered near the Ebola River in the DRC.
There have been over twenty-eight Ebola outbreaks since 1976.
This has been due to several causes of Ebola such as medical or patient care, research, travels in prone areas.
In 2014, there was an Ebola outbreak in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea (West Africa) killing 11,325 people.
Last year, 2018, there was another outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and over 500 were killed.
Here are the hotspots of Ebola outbreak globally since 1976:
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
- Sudan (South Sudan)
- United Kingdom
- Reston, United States (U.S.)
- Ivory Coast
- South Africa
- Sierra Leone
- Few cases in Mali and Nigeria
What are the signs and symptoms of Ebola?
Ebola takes 2 to 21 days for the time of infection to the onset of the signs and symptoms.
Early signs and symptoms of Ebola
- joint and muscle aches
- stomach pain
- lack of appetite
Later signs and symptoms of Ebola
- red eyes
- sore throat
- chest pain
- difficulty breathing
- difficulty swallowing
- bleeding inside and outside of the body
What causes Ebola?
A virus from the Filoviridae family causes Ebola.
However, the truth is, the exact cause of Ebola at the onset of an outbreak in human is unknown.
Nevertheless, viruses have been around billions of years because they are smarter.
The Ebola virus disease feeds, and retreat back into the shadows, where it lands and mutates.
The name originated from River Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire) where it was found.
The Ebola virus disease was initially attacking animals (money) and they spread to human, what is termed as zoonotic.
How Ebola virus spread in human?
It is important to know how the transmissions of this fatal virus occur in human.
For instance, in prone areas where Ebola occurred, like in West Africa, various victims developed Ebola virus after handling infected animals such as a monkey.
Later after 2 to 21 days of contact with one another( person to person), the Ebola virus replicates spreading to a large number of people.
When an Ebola infection occurs in humans, the virus can be spread in various several ways to other, Ebola infection can be direct or indirect contact with an infected person.
Here are the causes of Ebola
Direct contact with infected person’s
- broken skin
- mucous membranes with the blood
- other body fluids from infected people like breast milk, stool, saliva, semen, sweat, and urine, or vomit
- Contact with patients, for instance, healthcare workers have frequently been infected while treating patients.
Indirect contact with an infected person
- Indirect contact with environments contaminated with such fluids
- Exposure to contaminated objects, such as needles
- Ceremonies, for instance, burial ceremonies in which mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased
- Exposure to the semen of people with Ebola
Ebola cannot be transmitted through:
- Mosquitos and all other insects
What are the risk factors for Ebola outbreak?
The causes of Ebola outbreak can be low or high depending on the following conditions:
- When traveling to Ebola prone areas, especially West Africa, Philippine, and DRC
- Visiting people infected with Ebola
- Contacts with contaminated equipment that are not sterilized and are from Ebola prone areas
- Doing animal research such as monkeys imported from Africa or the Philippines
- Providing medical or personal care to people who may have been exposed to Ebola
- Preparing people for burial who have been infected with Ebola.
What are the treatments of Ebola?
Currently, several types of research into the vaccine are ongoing.
However, there is no legal vaccine, for that reason, there is no vaccine for clinical use.
The scientist is yet to provide one for future use.
Right now, treatment of Ebola is strictly under intensive supportive care such as:
- Balancing the patient’s fluids to prevent dehydration
- maintaining their oxygen status
- Regulating blood pressure
- Medical attention to an infected patient to relieve fever, diarrhea, nausea, and pain
- Treatment of other complicating infections of Ebola
What are the current Ebola vaccines?
After the shocking killing of 11,325 people by the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) came up with two license Ebola vaccines.
- cAd3-ZEBOV – It uses a chimpanzee-derived adenovirus vector with an Ebola virus gene inserted.
- rVSV-ZEBOV – The vaccine uses a weakened virus found in livestock; one of its genes has been replaced by an Ebola virus gene.
In 2015, A partial result on vaccine was published in Lancet. This was funded and organized by WHO.
The official result after the trial was again published in Lancet in February 2017.
How to diagnose Ebola Virus?
For diagnosis of Ebola virus, visit a doctor and it is important to share your current travel information with the doctor.
It will help the doctor to determine your symptoms and risk factors for easy provision of medical attention.
However, for you to be diagnosed, you must have symptoms and any exposure to some causes of Ebola virus.
Therefore, a blood test determines whether positive or not.
Note: In case you are infected, you will be put in an isolation room to prevent the virus from spreading to another person.
How to prevent Ebola?
By identifying the causes of Ebola virus, it is important to prevent it.
The fact is, Ebola is very fatal.
The prevention of Ebola is the best thing anyone can do.
So, to stay safe, you need to keep off from the following:
- Avoid traveling to Ebola prone areas to prevent Ebola spread
- Do not touch the blood or body fluids from infected people like breast milk, stool, saliva, semen, sweat, and urine, or vomit
- Never touch the body of a person who has died from Ebola viruses
- Do not touch items that may be contaminated with the Ebola virus such as needle
- Always ensure all healthcare workers wear protective clothing such as masks, gowns, and gloves
- Perform complete equipment sterilization and routine use of disinfectant to prevent the spread of Ebola virus
- Make sure you isolate Ebola patients from contact with unprotected persons or other patients
Note: proper and thorough sterilization and disposal of contaminated items are very crucial in health facilities.
This will prevent the spread of Ebola virus.
For more preventive measures see the set guideline by WHO and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to help eradicate Ebola (Infection Control for Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers In the African Healthcare Setting)
Can a person recover from Ebola virus disease?
Actually, there are very few people living with Ebola virus disease after recovery of the disease.
However, attack by Ebola virus may result in miserable death.
Nevertheless, individuals who recover from Ebola virus infections may still be at risk of decreasing.
The fact is, Ebola virus can remain in semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness.
NOTE: For that very reason, while living with Ebola virus disease, you should not have sex for 3 months after recovery.
Furthermore, the virus may remain in breast milk, amniotic fluid, eye fluid, and spinal column fluid.
So, always stay isolated from direct contact with the above-mentioned body fluids of recovered Ebola patient for the three months.