Ebola – All you need to know about the virus

The Ebola has appeared at the beginning of March with a few identified cases in Guinea. Since then, the number of cases has reached up to 909 and additional 414 suspicious cases on the territory of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. Efforts are made to limit the virus within the crisis areas and to find a way for its identification and prevention on time. The problem is that it takes 2 to 21 days so that the first symptoms of the Ebola appear, and the authorities can’t prevent the transfer of the potential virus carriers from one country to another.

The West is afraid of the virus spreading which can be caused by one patient who flies from some of the crisis countries in Africa. This is the reason why two of the Nigerian airline companies cancelled all of their flights from Monrovia and Freetown (the capital cities of Liberia and Sierra Leone) at the end of July.

An encouraging fact is that according to the American Center for diseases control, the virus can’t be transferred by an airplane, unless the passengers do not establish a body contact with the body fluids from an infected person.

Why the fear of the Ebola?
  • According to the doctors, this is one of the deadliest diseases in the world. The death rate is about 90% (this time it is decreased to 50%, due to its discovery in time).
  • There are 5 types of Ebola, and the Zairian is considered to be the deadliest one of all.
  • The current epidemic is of this kind.

 

What is the Ebola, and which are the symptoms?
  • The Ebola causes viral hemorrhagic fever, which according to CDC, includes more viruses which attack more body organs and body systems, and it is often confounded by bleeding.
  • It is named after the river Ebola in D.R. Congo (Formerly Zaire), where it is registered for the first time in 1976.
  • The initial symptoms are fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. These symptoms can appear within the timeframe of 2 to 21 days after the infection has occurred.
  • These same symptoms can easily be misinterpreted as symptoms of malaria, meningitis or plague.
  • There appears a rush on the skin and the eyes of the patients, chest pains, troubles with breathing and swallowing, and a hiccup.
  • Sometimes these symptoms can result in: vomiting, diarrhea, liver and kidney troubles, even an internal bleeding.
  • The disease can be confirmed by 5 laboratory tests.
Therapy?
  • There is no concrete therapy for this disease, all the doctors can do is to isolate the patients and keep them alive.
  • The doctors should keep the liquids level to the patients, to check the oxygen status and to keep the blood pressure regulated, as well as give them therapy against any complications that may occur.
  • The infected individuals should wear impervious gown and gloves, to isolate their faces with glasses and a mask on their mouths and noses.
  • How is it spread?
  • There is an assumption that the CSO Bats are the natural carriers to the Ebola virus in Africa and that they are spreading it to the other animals.
  • People can be infected via body fluids in contact with the infected animals or other people.
  • Although the virus can survive a few days in a liquid environment, outside of an infected body, it can be destroyed with heath, direct exposure to sun, chlorine, soap and detergents.
  • It is usually spread in the areas where hospitals don’t care for infections prevention and have limited approach to clean water.
What can be done to prevent its spreading?
  • Isolation of all the Ebola patients. The individuals which came to contact with an infected person should monitor their temperature on regular basis.
  • Closing of the borders to the neighboring countries (as Liberia did), and testing points on the places where one can leave the country.
  • Paying attention to those who have traveled in West Africa any time soon.