Perhaps you heard or read from the news recently about Ebola virus and the two American doctors who contracted it. If you want to know more about this disease, you have to stick for more. For your information, Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a fatal illness. In fact, the fatality rate is 90%. EVD outbreaks take place in remote areas of Central and West Africa.
EVD is caused by Ebola virus. The disease was named after the Ebola River in Africa. It was first noted in 1979. It appeared in Congo (then Zaire) and Sudan. It claimed thousands of lives of Africans. Here other truths about the EVD:
- Signs and symptoms: You have to be aware of the signs and symptoms of EVD. It starts with exhaustion, headaches, abdominal pain and joint/muscle pains. Other signs and symptoms also include vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhea. Apart from that, you have to know that the start of the signs and symptoms is eight to ten days after contracting the virus. The disease will then progress to bleeding.
- Causes: EVD is caused by different viruses from the family of Filoviridae family – Bundibugyo ebolavirus, Zaire ebolavirus, Reston ebolavirus, Sudan Ebolavirus and Tai Forest ebolavirus. The transmission of EVD is not clear but scientists believe that it can be spread through contact with an infected human or animal. EVD is not transmitted through air.
- Diagnosis: EVD is confirmed through isolating the virus, detecting RNA or antibodies. It can be isolated through cell culture, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).
- Prevention: It is established earlier that EDV is contagious. Without proper precaution or protection, you can be infected and die. If you are caring for someone who is infected, you have to wear protective clothing like masks, gloves and goggles. Do not go near infected blood or secretions. Scientists enforce isolation to prevent the spread of EVD; this is called quarantine.
- Treatment: Vaccines are only available for nonhuman pirates. There are still no vaccines for humans. There are no specific treatments for people with EVD. The treatment now is more of supportive in nature. Doctors will balance fluids as well as electrolytes, administer anticoagulants, antibiotics and many more. Early treatment will increase the person’s chances of survival.
You have to be familiar about Ebola virus because it might come here in Singapore. Who knows? It pays to be knowledgeable. If you know someone that may have contracted it, you have to tell the authorities right away. Be vigilant because this is serious. Let other Singaporeans know.