Ebola Virus

Ebola virus causes Ebola virus disease (EVD). It is one of the most dangerous diseases among the other viral diseases, with a fatality rate around 50 percent. It is an acute illness which is too fatal if left untreated. It is considered as a deadly disease because it spreads throughout the body and damages the immune system and other vital organs. Simultaneously, it destroys the blood clotting cells and reduces their count, which causes abnormal bleeding.

About ebola virus transmission

Ebola disease is not a contagious disease. It spreads to people by skin contact or by bodily fluids of infected animals such as the monkey or a chimpanzee. Then it travels from person to person.

Causes

Ebola viruses which belong to a family of virus, ‘Filoviridae’ are the causes of ebola. These viruses cause ebola hemorrhagic fever (bleeding fever) inside and outside the body. Ebola virus is found in chimps, African monkeys, and other nonhuman primates.

The symptoms of Ebola are presented within 8 to 10 days after the exposure or may take three weeks to appear.

The foremost prominent symptom would be extreme fatigue; other ebola virus symptoms would include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Chest pain
  • Stomach pain
  • Rashes on skin
  • Internal bleeding
  • Unusual weight loss

The risk of getting Ebola increases if you are:

  • Traveling to Africa where there is an increased risk of contracting the disease due to Ebola virus outbreaks
  • Conducting animal research may keep it at a higher risk of acquiring Ebola virus, especially when conducting trials on monkeys
  • Providing personal care to the Ebola-infected persons
  • Preparing burial for the people who died due to Ebola, preparing these bodies for burial would increase your risk of developing the disease

The fatal complications of Ebola virus disease are:

  • Coma
  • Shock
  • Seizures
  • Jaundice
  • Delirium
  • Multiple organ failures

Early symptoms of Ebola would be similar to that of common diseases such as flu, malaria, and typhoid fever.

Your doctor would order for blood tests that would reveal the antibodies of Ebola virus. At the same time, these tests would reveal the white blood cell counts, platelet count, the status of the liver enzymes, and abnormal coagulation factor levels.

Ebola virus does not have a complete cure or any preventive vaccines. The ebola treatment is purely based on comforting the patients and management of the ebola disease symptoms.

The supportive care measures may include:

  • Supply of extra oxygen if needed
  • Treatment for the co-existing infections
  • Administration of blood products if required
  • Management of fluid balance by electrolytes
  • Prevention of other infections from occurring
  • Administration of medications to maintain stable blood pressure

It is not enough if you understand the ebola virus symptoms and treatment to be safe. You can be more proactive and protect yourself from the effects of Ebola virus, by following the below steps:

  • Avoid handling the belongings of the Ebola-infected person
  • Avoid any skin contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person
  • Practice good hand hygiene, and wash hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Wear protective clothing when around the animals such as chimp and monkey.
  • Refrain yourself from engaging in burial rituals that involve handling the body of a person died of Ebola virus