Ebola Outbreak : Facts about Ebola Virus

Source:  Ebola Outbreak : Facts about Ebola Virus    Tag:  ebola zaire facts
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Ebola, the deadly disease that has taken over the central and west Africa, this year, is nothing new to the continent. The disease has been affecting the people of the continent since 1976 when it was recognized in Zaire(now called Democratic Republic of Congo).This year's outbreak is the largest Ebola Outbreak in the history and it is important that we make ourselves aware.

So here are some facts that one needs to arm themselves with to handle any situation about Ebola:

Origin:

Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a disease caused by one of the five different Ebola Viruses. Four out of these viruses are known to cause fatal diseases in humans and other mammals, while the fifth one is not fatal for humans, animals are not that lucky, though. The natural reservoir of the virus is believed to be bats, particularly fruit bats, but is seen frequently in apes, monkeys and pigs as well.

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Spread:

Ebola spreads through the transmission of bodily fluids from animals to humans and from humans to humans. It is extremely infectious but not contagious to the extent. An infinitesimally small amount of the virus can prove fatal, in fact it is believed that even a single virus is enough to cause fatal hemorrhagic fever in humans. It is known to spread from lesions, blood, and other bodily fluids. Butchers who come in contact with infected animals can also get infected, and it has been found out that Ebola virus can be found in trace amounts in a previously infected man's semen for up to 7 weeks.

Symptoms:

The early symptoms of Ebola include fever, headache, body aches, cough, nausea and diarrhea. Because these symptoms are synonymous with malaria , Ebola cannot be detected early. The incubation period for Ebola virus is from 2 to 21 days and most people will start showing the symptoms 7-8 days after the infection. Bleeding is an integral part of being diagnosed with Ebola. Bleeding may be external or internal, this causes the eyes to become red and a patient may vomit blood, have bloody diarrhea and suffer from cardiovascular collapse and subsequently death.

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No Vaccine:

There is currently no effective vaccine available for prevention of Ebola. But, recently this year, an experimental vaccine developed by GlaxoSmithKline has been approved for human trials. The vaccine has worked perfectly well with excellent results on animals like apes and chimpanzees and so has been approved by National Institute of Health, USA to start the human trials. There is still hope that Ebola can be successfully eradicated from the face of the earth after having caused much havoc in Africa and killing thousands of people.

Protection Tips:

Since Ebola travels from animals to humans and not vice versa, animals should be handled carefully with gloves and other appropriate protective clothing. Animal products should be thoroughly cooked before consumption. Close physical contact with Ebola patients should be avoided since this disease is communicable and spreads from bodily fluids. People who have died due to the disease should be properly cremated, since Ebola spreads from dead bodies as well.

One should be aware of all the aspects covering this deadly disease as it has taken the lives of many innocent and unwary people. Prevention is always better than cure.