Ebola Virus Disease - Dream Health

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Saturday 16 August 2014

Ebola Virus Disease

Ebola Virus Disease – Fatal Hemorrhagic Fever 

Ebola virus is an important member of the Zaire ebolavirus species as well as the most dangerous of the five known virii in the genus ebolavirus. Out of the five ebolavirii, four of them are the cause of severe and at times fatal hemorrhagic fever among humans together with other pirmates which is known as ebola virus disease.

The Ebola virus disease – EVD is caused due to the virus from the Filoviridae family and is said to be transmitted from animals to humans wherein the virus tends to spread through direct contact with the body fluid of an infected individual or animals. The Ebola virus along with its species was earlier named Zaire which is now the Democratic Republic of Congo and the country where it was first described, was identified to be closely related Marburg virus excluding its species and given the name of `ebola virus’ in order to avoid confusion in the year 2010. It species is a virological taxon species which is included in the genus Ebolavirus, the Filoviridae family and whose members are called Filovirus, order Mononegavirales.

Natural Reservoir – Bats 

It is said that its natural reservoir is bats, especially the fruit bats and can be transmitted through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or bodily fluids of the infected animals and in the case of humans it is transmitted when healthcare personnel may contract the said disease through contact with infected bodily fluid or through transmission, handling the meat of infected animals, contact with the bodily fluids of the infected person who has expired, besides coming in contact with the infected person’s blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids.

 Ebola virus was first discovered infecting humans in the African countries especially Sudan and is now presently bringing about a fear in the minds of the people due to its destructive capabilities drawing the infected individual to a fatal end. The Ebole hemorrhagic fever is a condition that can infect million and to be safe from this dreaded disease, utmost care and precaution needs to be taken.

Contagious Ailment

According to DrRattan Kumar Vaish, Senior Consultant of the Department of Internal Medicine, Rockland Group of Hospitals – NCR, Delhi, considers this conditionto be contagious and migratory populations are likely to get infected and transmit this virus. Those at a higher risk of infection could be individuals who are diabetics, immune-compromised patients, individuals with kidney and liver failure as well as HIV infected people.

It is also a hospital acquired infections wherein the hospital staff could also get affected with this virus. The incubation period which is the time when the infection occurs to the time when the persons understand the symptoms of this disease is around one week which is the early symptoms of this condition.

These symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, rashes, vomiting accompanied with stomach pain. Besides this, the affected person may also experience lower back pain, arthritis type of pain in the body, with diarrhoea and sore throat.

Know the Symptoms

As the condition progresses, symptoms like increased sensitivity to pain on the skin, genital swelling, conjunctivitis, bleeding from the mouth, ears, nose and ears,rashes over the body and redness on the roof of the mouth takes place.

The physician would be able to diagnose the ailment on checking the symptoms wherein test like Complete Blood count –CBC, a test to check the presence of the viral antigen – viral antigen testing and liver function test are prescribed. Once the symptoms are diagnosed, the treatment is to treat the symptoms and thus prevent secondary infection or complication such as liver failure and pneumonia since there is no definite treatment and the common anti-viral therapies are not effective on Ebola virus.

As per World Health Organisation reports, 80 percent of the people on an average infected with this ailment tend to die, the cause of which is the drop in their blood pressure and the failure of organs.

Basic Hygiene/Avoid Crowded Areas of Outbreak

As of date, there are no vaccinations available to eliminate this disease but basic hygiene could be adopted and followed in order to prevent the onset of this dreaded condition such as washing hands well, maintaining general hygiene, drinking of water from clean source, cooking food, especially meat, well. Besides this, crowded places should be avoided or the areas where there is an outbreak of this ailment. It is also advisable to take note of the early symptoms and consult a physician at the earliest.

The Ebola infected individual is placed in an enforced isolation area to avoid the spread of this virus. Government usually quarantine these areas where the disease occur or individuals who are infected. United States enables quarantine for those infected with Ebola virus. Liberia had closed schools during the 2014 outbreak.

One of the largest outbreaks till date is the 2014 West Africa Ebola virus outbreak which had affected Guinea, Sierra Leone, besides Liberia and as of August 2014, it has also been affecting Nigeria and at the end of July 2014, over 1320 cases had been surfaced.

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