Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Causes and Prevention of Ebola

Ebola is a disease caused by a relatively infectious virus, but extremely lethal. International aid provided under the Ebola epidemic now raging in West Africa must expanded urgently. Ebola epidemic is not under control, and will continue to spread if more material and human resources not made available urgently. 

The authorities of the four affected countries - Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria - need the support of other countries and organizations.

What is Ebola?

Ebola is a viral disease caused by the Ebola virus, of which there are different variants. The disease is extremely lethal: to ninety percent of the patients died, according to the strain which has infected. The disease is very scary, because of the very high mortality it causes and the absence of curative treatment. 

It bears the name of the Congolese Ebola River, which flows along the village where the disease diagnosed for the first time in 1976 (when an outbreak of Ebola has also triggered Sudan).

How Ebola Transmits

The Ebola virus transmits by humans and animals through contact with bodily fluids: saliva, blood, urine, sweat, etc. Medical personnel can easily contaminate, if carries no special protection. The virus does not spread through the air.

Symptoms of Ebola

Symptoms appear between 2 and 21 days after the contamination. The first symptoms are nonspecific. They resemble those of malaria and influenza, for example: headaches, muscle pain, nausea and general weakness. It is therefore difficult immediately diagnose Ebola. 

In the next phase, the patient is vomiting, has diarrhea, and develops rashes and kidney problems and liver. Some patients have internal and external bleeding. 25 to 90 percent of patients eventually die, according to the Ebola strain that infected them.

Treatment for Ebola

There is currently no treatment against Ebola. We can fight against the symptoms, for example with infusions for patients with diarrhea and vomiting dehydrated. 

If necessary, the pain alleviated with analgesics. When the epidemic broke out this year in West Africa, the researchers hoped for a moment to have found a cure, but this hope has unfortunately not yet materialized. 

To prevent the spread of the virus, patients placed in strict quarantine and decontamination areas are set up for medical staff. During the epidemic, the public must properly informed about the disease and the precautions to take to reduce the risk of infection. When no new patient diagnosed for 42 days, consider that the epidemic is over.

Prevent Ebola

There is no vaccine or preventive remedy against Ebola, but only measures to protect those at risk and contain the epidemic. 

Anyone working with infected patients must wear special protective clothing, with gloves, mask and goggles, and be very careful in the context of care. Of course, hygiene is very important.

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