Ebola Virus: History, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment

Ebola Virus

What is Ebola virus- The Ebola virus is a group of viruses which cause hemorrhagic fever and bleeding inside and outside the body. This virus is very rare of its kind and most deadly on the earth. The evolution period of virus is twenty one days. It has a death rate of 90 percent, with no cure. There are more than 1700 cases of people infected with the virus and out of them 900 have been killed in West Africa alone.

Ebola virus history- The Ebola virus (named after a river) first came into sight in the year 1976 in Zaire. There were more than 285 people who were infected with the disease. Soon after Zaire, the virus emerged in Yambuku and Sudan with death rate of more than 90%.

How Ebola spreads – Ebola virus is not contagious like common cold and chicken pox. It spreads to other person by direct contact with skin or bodily fluids (saliva, urine, blood) of Ebola patient. Another way to get infected by virus is handling contaminated needles without using any precautionary measures. The most susceptible people are the health workers and family members of a sick person, because they work more closely with the Ebola patient. Therefore, health workers are advised to take preventive measures like wearing rubber gloves, gown and face mask while dealing with the patient.

Symptoms of Ebola fever- The early symptoms of Ebola are high fever, stomach pain, headache, weakness and sore   throat. The symptoms can last from 2 to 22 days. As the virus advances, it damages, kidney, liver and immune system in the body, and leads to crash of blood clotting cells with uncontrollable bleeding inside and outside the body.

Diagnosis of Ebola- It is quite difficult to tell if a person is down with Ebola, from its symptoms alone. Blood tests are required to confirm the virus. If a person is found with Ebola virus, he must immediately be isolated from others to stop its spread.

How is Ebola treated- As such there is no definite treatment for the disease. Therefore, medication is given keeping in mind the symptoms of virus. Treatment includes use of medicines to control blood pressure, fever and to stop bleeding from the body. Antibiotics are also given to stop the spread of infection in other parts of body. But even after such intense care, death happens in most of the cases.

How do Ebola can be put to a stop- Yes, Ebola can be stopped, if we immediately isolate the sick person from others. Preventive measures must be adopted while providing medical care to the patient. Those, who are providing medical care to the Ebola patient, must also take down their temperature twice or thrice a day, and if they show the same symptoms, they should also be isolated.

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