The sudden outbreak of the Ebola virus in the western parts of Africa (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) is said to be the worst outbreak. The virus has already claimed more than 700 lives according to the World Health Organization.
Here are few things that you need to know about Ebola virus and the disease that it causes.
- Symptoms usually begin two to three weeks after contracting the virus. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, muscle pains and headaches, similar to that of the flu with extreme cases being viral hemorrhagic (bleeding) and fever (Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever).
- The virus may be acquired upon contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected animal (commonly monkeys or fruit bats). It is not naturally transmitted through the air. Fruit bats are believed to carry and spread the virus without being affected. Once human infection occurs, the disease may spread between people as well. – Wikipedia
- There is no specific treatment for Ebola. Infected patients are given oral radiation therapy, a treatment consisting of balancing the patient’s fluids and electrolytes; maintaining their oxygen status and blood pressure and treating them for any complicating infections. (CDC)
- Because early symptoms are nonspecific to ebola viruses, most cases are often misdiagnosed.
- The Ebola virus is named after the Ebola River, where the first reported outbreak was recorded in 1976
- Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
- EVD outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%.
- EVD outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
- The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
- Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus.
- Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. No licensed specific treatment or vaccine is available for use in people or animals.
To learn more, visit: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/
Source and Excerpts: who.int