Ebola virus causes Ebola virus disease (EVD)or Ebola haemorrhagic fever is a severe and often deadly illness in humans. The disease has high mortality rate, killing upto 90% of people who are infected.
As per the reports, Ebola virus infecting more than 1,700 and killed at least 932 people since March in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and Liberia. Hence, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 8th August, 2914 declared the killer Ebola epidemic ravaging parts of West Africa an international health emergency.Causes
EVD is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. While there are five identified sub-species of Ebolavirus, four viruses cause disease in humans. They are Bundibugyo virus (BDBV), Ebola virus (EBOV), Sudan virus (SUDV), Taï Forest virus (TAFV).
The fifth virus, Reston virus (RESTV), is not considered to be disease-causing in humans.
According to WHO, EVD first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks, in Nzara, Sudan, and in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter was in a village situated near the Ebola River from which the disease takes its name.spread
It is still unclear how Ebola is spread. However, it is believed that the first pateint becomes infected through contact with an infected animal's body fluids.
Human-to-human transmission can occur through direct contact with 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 the disease 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 body of deceased person can also get the disease.Risk Factor
Health-care workers who do not wear appropriate protective clothing and family members who are in close contact with infected people or deceased patients.Signs and Symptoms
-Symptoms may occur between 2 and 21 days after contracting the infection. Common signs of Ebola include:
-Muscle, abdominal and joint pain
-Vomit or cough up blood
-Difficult breathing and swallowing
-Bleeding inside and outside the bodyPrevention
-Currently there is no vaccine available for humans. But the infection can be controlled through the use of recommended protective measures such as:
-Avoid contacting infected blood or secretions, including from those who are dead .
-Using standard precautions for all patients in the healthcare setting.
-Sterilizing equipment, and wearing protective clothing including masks, gloves, gowns and goggles.
-Washing your hands with soaps or detergents.
-Disinfecting your surroundings.
Isolate people who have Ebola symptoms.
Culling of infected animals, with close supervision of burial or incineration of carcasses.
Yet, not travelling to the areas or countries where the virus is found is the best way to avoid Ebola.