VirusThe Ebola virus (family Filoviridae) responsible for a severe andoften fatal haemorrhagic fever; outbreaks in primates as well as in humans havebeen recorded. The disease is characterised by extreme fever, rash, and profusehaemorrhaging. Fatality rates range from 50 to 90 percent. (1) Ebola wasregarded as an epidemic in 1976 when it was discovered along the Ebola River inZaire. The outbreaks moved throughout Zaire and The Sudan.
In 1995 there wasanother epidemic in Zaire which resulted in hundreds of deaths as did theearlier epidemics. (2) People who contracted the Ebola virus will noticesymptoms 4 ? 16 days after they contract the virus. An infected person willsuddenly be hit by severe headaches, muscle aches and loss of appetite. Within afew days the virus causes a condition know as ?disseminated intravascularcoagulation’. This condition is marked by both blood clots and haemorrhaging. In the case of Ebola fever, clots are concentrated in the liver, spleen, brain,and other internal organs, forcing capillaries to bleed into surrounding tissue.Order now
Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea with blood and mucus, conjunctivitis, and sorethroat soon follow. A maculopapular rash (discoloured elevations of the skin)appears on the trunk and quickly spreads to the limbs and head. The patient isthen beset by spontaneous bleeding from body orifices and any breaks in theskin, such as injection sites, and within the gastrointestinal tract, skin, andinternal organs. Death is usually brought on by haemorrhaging, shock, or renalfailure and occurs within 8 to 17 days. (3) Like most viruses, Ebola is usuallycarried by animals, especially rodents.
Ebola can be transmitted through contactwith infected blood, semen, body fluids, and possibly urine and respiratorysecretions. The virus has also been detected in the organs of patients afterrecovery from the fever. Unsanitary conditions and lack of adequate medicalsupplies have been a factor in the spread of the disease. (4) As of yet there isno known cure or treatment for the Ebola Virus. Current therapy consists ofmaintenance of fluid and electrolyte balance and administration of blood andplasma to control bleeding.
The spread of the virus can be contained by barriernursing, handling of infected blood and tissue in isolated laboratory units, andproper decontamination of reusable equipment. (5) There were no statisticsavailable on the Ebola Virus but for each outbreak there has been, at least 300+people have died each time. (6) Ebola is usually passed through contact withinfected blood and body fluid. In some cases the virus has become airborne buthas been contained. (7) If you are not living in Zaire near the Ebola river thechances of you contracting Ebola are so remote it isn’t even worthconsidering.
But if you did contract it while on a holiday in Africa, the bestthing would be to keep away from everyone and ring health authorities as soon aspossible.