We often hear the terms; it was a viral message; it spread like a viral disease; viral content and much more. It literally means something spreading or multiplying or aggravating too quickly! The term viral actually acquired a new meaning, with the influx of the fatal virus. Recently, a dreadful virus shook the world. The recent nightmare that fears billions of people across the globe is Ebola virus. The messy and nasty virus spread over thousands of people and literally took their life. Yes, ebola virus is an incurable viral disease, where dysfunction of multiple organs due to viral infection causes death.
What is Ebola Virus?
Ebola is a viral fever, caused by ebola virus. It is also termed as Hemorrhagic fever affecting the humans as well as animals. The reason behind the outbreak of ebola virus is still unknown. The disease was initially diagnosed in the West Africa. There are five types of ebola viruses, where four viruses are native to Africa. The virus infects the other parts of the body and vitality in a sick person quickly.
Outbreak of Ebola
The first outbreak of ebola was registered in the villages in the Central Africa, where the virus was transmitted from animal to humans. It was discovered first in the year 1976. The recent outbreak was found in the month of March 2014, which was extremely severe. Due to lack of substantial evidences and information about the host of the virus, what induced the birth of ebola virus is unknown. However, based on the researches, the virus is borne by animals, specifically bats and mammals.
Ebola is extremely infectious but not contagious
Ebola is not a typical virus that spread through air or water or contaminated food. The infection spread to other person through the following ways:
- Through Mucous membranes or broken skin
- Through fluids like blood, saliva, breast milk, urine, etc.
- Through infected animals (butchering the animals)
- Through objects that carry the ebola virus (syringe, needles, etc)
Ebola virus affects the mammals not insects. This eliminates the fact that insects like houseflies, mosquitoes, etc may have caused the disease. Based on the circumstances that traits the virus, it is believed that the virus live in a damp atmosphere.
The infection is so severe that even the healthcare providers who come in contact with the blood samples or other body fluids of a patient affected by ebola virus are exposed with risk of getting infected. Something that is quite alarming is the infection spreads regardless of the fact that the healthcare providers wear proper protective equipments and accessories to cover them while treating the ebola infected patients.
Ebola is not a contagious disease and it spreads rapidly where hygiene is absent.
Symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease:
- High fever
- Muscle pain / body ache
- Severe headache
- Sudden unexplained hemorrhage
- Vomiting, diarrhea
Symptoms of ebola virus generally appear anywhere from two days to three weeks from infection. On an average basis, ebola infection person experience the symptoms between 8 to 10 days.
So far, there is no vaccine or medicine is available to treat ebola virus. Treatment is focused on eliminating the symptoms of the disease. Although the ebola virus infection is almost a fatal condition, following treatments are provided to enhance the survival rate and reduce the effects of the symptoms.
- Balancing the salts in the body, electrolytes
- Providing the IV fluids
- Managing blood pressure
Severely infected persons are provided intensive care support. Patients are dehydrated and intravenous fluids are often provided to maintain the balance. Recovery from the disease is purely based on the individual’s respond to the treatment and immune system.
Quick Facts about Ebola:
- Ebola virus disease has the highest fatality rate. The chance of complete recovery is very low!
- The virus causes dysfunctions of multiple organs simultaneously. It reduces the volume of blood.
- Recovery from the infection develops antibodies in the body against ebola virus.
- The ebola effect remains in the body for years, affecting the bone health.
- The risk of getting exposed with ebola can be completely eliminated by avoid the human – animal transmission and maintaining hygiene.
Based on the understandings about how the virus spread, avoiding or reducing the direct contact with infected prisons is recommended.