Ebola virus disease (EVD) also referred to as Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is a severe infection of humans and different primates caused by an RNA virus of the household Filoviridae and genus Ebola virus. The disease has a high fatality rate killing about 25%-90% of those infected. Research performed in 2005 suggested fruit bats to be the likely reservoir due to their ability to transmit the virus without being affected by it.
The biggest outbreak to date took place in West Africa between March 2014 to June 2016, affecting basically Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Nigeria. A total of 11,296 incidents were recorded including suspected and probable cases.
The case of EVD in Nigeria was first confirmed in Lagos on 23 July 2014 and spread to involve 20 laboratory-confirmed EVD cases. Eight (8) of the confirmed cases of EVD in Nigeria finally died (closing case fatality percent of 42.1%) and twelve (12) were nursed back to great health. In Nigeria, the speedy control of the EVD was facilitated by rapid detection of the index case, the comprehensive contact tracing measures and the isolation and medication of the secondary cases. On the 20th of October 2014 Nigeria was confirmed free of EVD by the World Health Organization
Infection in the index case occurs after human contact with fruit bats or intermediary contaminated hosts, such as non-human primates, rodents, antelopes or their carcasses. Human to human transmission happens through contact with body fluids: Vomitus, diarrheal stool, blood, sweat, semen, saliva, breast milk, and tears. Contact with objects like needles or soiled clothing contaminated with infected secretions can also cause infection. The common incubation duration of the virus is 2 to 21 days.
It can take up to three days for the virus to attain a detectable level in the blood. The onset of sickness is sudden, with fever, nausea, diarrhea, headache, joint and muscle pain, sore throat and excessive weakness. Some infected persons may develop a rash, red eyes, hiccups, impaired kidney and liver function, and interior and exterior bleeding.
According to the WHO, samples from people with Ebola are serious biohazard risk. Testing should to be carried out under maximum biological containment conditions.
Before Ebola can be examined, other diseases should be ruled out, and, if Ebola is suspected, the patient should be isolated. Public health professionals ought to be notified immediately. Ebola virus infections can be examined definitively in a laboratory through some various types of tests, including:
• Antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing.
• IgM ELISA.
• Polymerase chain response (PCR).
• Virus isolation.
In the higher levels of the sickness or after recovery, analysis is made using IgM and IgG antibodies. Ebola can be diagnosed retrospectively in deceased patients through different types of testing.
Up until recent, remedy for Ebola was restrained to intensive supportive care and includes:
• balancing the patient's fluids and electrolytes
• maintaining their oxygen position and blood pressure
• treating a patient for any complicating infections
In an important trial in Guinea during 2015, an experimental vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV, developed in 2014 was greatly protective against the lethal virus.
In May 2017, officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo validated the use of the experimental Ebola vaccine in the hopes of stemming the spread of a recent outbreak of the lethal virus.
How Can You Prevent Ebola?
The best way to avoid catching the ailment is by not travelling to places where the virus is found. If you are in areas where Ebola is present, avoid contact with bats, monkeys, chimpanzees and gorillas considering the fact that these animals spread Ebola to people. You can also be able to get the vaccine from the World Health Organization.
Health care employees can prevent infection by wearing masks, gloves, and goggles each time they come into contact with persons who may have Ebola.
There are five kinds of Ebola virus. Four cause disease in humans.
The Ebola virus first showed up during two 1976 outbreaks in Africa.
Ebola got its name from the Ebola River, which is close to one of the villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo the place the disease first appeared.
"Ebola virus disease Fact sheet No. 103". World Health Organization. September 2014. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/
Nassos Stylianou (27 November 2014). "How world’s worst Ebola outbreak began with one boy’s death". 27 November 2014.
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