Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
The Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a severe condition caused by a virus from the Filoviridae family. According to experts there are five different types of the virus, all of them have the potential to infect human being. It is a condition that is transmitted from animals to humans; it spreads through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person or animal.
The Ebola virus was first seen infecting humans in African countries; especially Sudan,Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria. But now, the virus seems to have gripped the world’s interest due to its destructive potential. Snuffing out the lives of almost 80% of the population that suffers from the disease.
How is Ebola virus transmitted and what are its causes?
In humans, the disease can be transmitted by the following methods:
- Coming into direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs of an infected person.
- Contact with the fluid secretions of an diseased person who has passed away
- Healthcare workers and professionals may contract the disease through transmission as well through contact with saliva, urine, and sweat.
- Handling the meat from infected animals.
Ebola Virus Symptoms
Early symptoms :
Fever, vomiting, headache, rashes, nausea and stomach pain.
- Bleeding from the mouth, ears, nose and ears
- And reddening of the roof of the mouth
- Increased pain on the skin
- Skin rashes
- Genital swelling
Ebola Virus Diagnosis
Ebola virus can be detected and confirmed through prescribed blood tests like
- Liver function test
- Coagulation studies
- CBC (Complete Blood Count)
- Viral antigen testing (a test to check for the presence of the viral antigen)
Ebola Virus Treatment and Prevention
Currently, no specific therapy is available that has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of Ebola hemorrhagic fever.
General medical support is critical and should include replacement of coagulation factors and heparin if disseminated intravascular coagulation develops. Such precautions must be administered with strict attention to barrier isolation. All body fluids, such as blood, saliva, urine, and stool, contain infectious virions and must be handled with great care.
There are no commercially available Ebola vaccines. However, a recombinant Human Monoclonal Antibody directed against the envelope GP of Ebola has been demonstrated to possess neutralizing activity. This Ebola neutralising antibody may be useful in vaccine development or as a passive prophylactic agent.
Survivors can produce infectious virions for prolonged periods. Therefore, strict quarantine facility in a private room away from traffic patterns must be maintained throughout the illness.
Patient’s urine, stool, sputum, and blood, along with any objects that have come in direct contact with the patient or the patient’s body fluids, should be disinfected with a 0.5% sodium hypochlorite solution. Patients who have died of Ebola virus disease should be buried promptly, with minimal contact as possible.
Current CDC guidelines call for people who are at high risk of exposure to Ebola, but who don’t have symptoms, to take their temperatures twice daily for three weeks, avoid over-seas travel, consult with health authorities on local travel and symptoms, and stay close to a hospital that can treat Ebola in case they develop symptoms.
Current Scenario of Ebola Virus
The Ebola Outbreak in West Africa has prompted hospitals and health authorities in other countries to take precautions that often go beyond experts’ recommendations, showing the impact of public concern about the deadly disease.
The 2014 Ebola outbreak is one of the largest Ebola outbreaks in history and the first in West Africa, killing over 1,000 people.
The World Health Organization, in partnership with the Ministries of Health in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria reported 2127 suspect and confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), including 1310 laboratory-confirmed cases, and 1145 deaths.
In Guinea, 519 cases of EVD, including 376 laboratory confirmed-cases, and 380 deaths were reported by the Ministry of Health of Guinea and WHO. Active surveillance continues in Conakry, Guéckédou, Pita, Siguiri, Kourourssa, Macenta, Yamou, and Nzerekore Districts.
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia and WHO reported 786 clinical cases of EVD, including 190 laboratory confirmations and 413 fatal cases. Suspect and confirmed cases have been reported in 9 of 13 Counties. Laboratory testing is being conducted in Monrovia.
In Nigeria, WHO and the Nigerian Ministry of Health reported 12 suspect cases, including 11 laboratory confirmations, and 4 deaths.
In Sierra Leone, WHO and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone reported 810 suspect and confirmed cases of EVD, including 733 laboratory-confirmed cases, 348 deaths. All districts are now reporting clinical patients with EVD. Reports, investigations, and testing of suspect cases continue across the country.