Ebola virus disease or Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a severe and often deadly illness in humans, caused by the Ebola virus.
The disease has high mortality rate, killig Upto 90% of people who are infected.
The ongoing 2016 west Africa Ebola outbreak is considered to be the largest and the longest outbreak ever recorded of Ebola, killing at least 932 people and infecting more than 1,700 till date since March in Sierra Leone, guinea ,Nigeria and Liberia.
The world health organization on August 8th 2914 declared the killer Ebola epidemic ravaging parts f West Africa an international health emergency.
EVD is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebola virus while there are five identified sub -species of Ebola virus, four viruses cause disease in humans.
They are Bundibugugyo virus, Ebola virus, Sudan virus, Tai Forest virus.
The fifth virus rest on virus is not considered to be disease causing in humans.
How does it spread?
It is still unclear how Ebola is spread.
It is believed that the first patient becomes infected through contact with an infected animal's body fluids.
Human to human transmission can occur though direct contact with the blood. Organs or other body fluids of infected people or exposure to objects such as needles and syringes that have been contaminated with infected secretions.
Ebola can also be transmitted from men who have recovered from diseases through semen as it is infectious for up to 7 weeks.
Infected dead bodies can spread Ebola as they are still infectious.
So mourners who have direct contact with the bossy of decreased person can also get the disease.
Who is most at risk?
Health care workers who do not wear app protective clothing and family members who are in close contact with the infected people or the deceased patients.
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms may occur between 2 and 21 days after the contracting the infection.
Common signs of Ebola include
- Muscle, abdominal and joint pain
- Sore throat
- Vomit or cough up blood
- Chest pain
- Difficult breathing and swallowing
- Bleeding inside and outside the body
- Currently there is no vaccine viable for humans.
But the infection can be controlled through the use of recommended protective measure such as
Avoid contacting infected blood or the secretions, including from those who are dead.
Using the standard precautions for all the patients in the healthcare setting.
Sterilizing the equipment and wearing the protective clothing including the masks, gloves, gowns and googles.
Washing the hands with soaps or the detergents.
Disinfecting the surroundings.
Isolate people who have Ebola symptoms.
Culling of infected animals, with the cloase supervision of burial or incineration of the carcasses.
Yet not traveling to the areas or the countries where the virus is found is the best way to avoid Ebola.
Vaccine and treatment
No licensed vaccine for EVD is available. Several vaccines are being tested but none are available for the clinical use.
Severally ill patients require the intensive supportive care. Patients are frequently dehydrated and require oral rehydration with solutions containing electrolytes or intravenous fluids.
No special treatment is available. New drugs therapies are being evaluated.