The Ebola Epidemic

Ebola is a virus which completely weakens the infected person’s immunity system. It therefore makes them to start to bleed from inside and from outside the body. If health workers are not protecting properly when taking care of the people who are infected with Ebola, their health is also but at very high risk of contracting the virus too. The very first case of Ebola virus was reported back in the year 1976 in the democratic republic of Congo, Nzara and also in Sudan.

The Causes of the Ebola Virus

ebola_outbreakThe fruit bats that come from the family of the Pteropodidae which inhabit the tropical rain forest are the hosts that have the Ebola virus Disease. This deadly virus is then transferred from the wild animals in the tropical forest to humans who then infect other people spreading the virus thus creating an Ebola outbreak. The mode of transmission of this deadly virus is through getting into contact with bodily secretions such as sweat, blood or any other bodily fluid from an infected person or from any other infected animals. The infected animals which transmit the Ebola virus include porcupines, fruit bats, chimpanzees, monkeys and gorillas especially the sick ones that inhabit the tropical rain forest.  Another mode of transmission of this virus is through getting into contact with needles that have been used in treatment of an infected Ebola patient thus highly contaminated. It is important to note however that Ebola only gets transmitted through bodily fluids so it is not an airborne disease. However, Ebola Outbreaks are very dangerous as they spread very fast. It can thus mostly be gotten by those who nurse the sick or those who prepare the body of an infected person for burial and get in contact with their bodily fluids.

Symptoms and Signs of Ebola

During the first days of infection, Ebola may feel just like a bout of flu or any other not so serious disease. However, a few days into the infection, serious symptoms such as fever, acute weakness, muscle pains, joint pains, and lack of appetite, headache, sore throat and stomach pains are experienced by the infected person. As the infection gets serious, the state of the infected person worsens. The patient then begins to experience diarrhea, impaired liver function, vomiting, rashes all over the body and worse of all external and internal bleeding.  Some infected patients may get red eyes; have troubled breathing and also swallowing, experience chest pains and hiccups too.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Ebola Virus

There are various tests which are carried out to confirm if it is Ebola Virus first. These include neutralization tests, another test to detect antigens, electron microscopy and so much more. There is no vaccine that can be used to cure Ebola yet. The patients are thus given intensive care with oral rehydration using electrolytes as the infection results to severe dehydration.