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What You Should Know About Ebola Virus Disease - Health - Nairaland

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What You Should Know About Ebola Virus Disease by numericalguy(m): 11:50am On Aug 08, 2014
Ebola virus disease
Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is the human disease caused by the Ebola virus. Symptoms typically start two days to three weeks after contracting the virus, with a fever, sore throat, muscle pains, and headaches. Typically nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea follow, along with decreased functioning of the liver and kidneys. At this point, some people begin to have bleeding problems.
The virus may be acquired upon contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected animal (commonly monkeys or fruit bats). Spread through the air has not been documented in the natural environment. Fruit bats are believed to carry and spread the virus without being affected. Once human infection occurs, the disease may spread between people as well. Male survivors may be able to transmit the disease via seme.n for nearly two months.

Treatment
There is no specific treatment for the disease; efforts to help persons who are infected include giving either oral rehydration therapy (slightly sweet and salty water to drink) or intravenous fluids (drip). Intravenous therapy may be used to correct electrolyte imbalances, to deliver medications, for blood transfusion or as fluid replacement.

Prevention

Prevention includes decreasing the spread of disease from infected dogs, monkeys and pigs to humans. This may be done by checking such animals for infection and killing and properly disposing of the bodies if the disease is discovered. Properly cooking meat and wearing protective clothing when handling meat may also be helpful, as are wearing protective clothing and washing hands when around a person with the disease. Samples of bodily fluids and tissues from people with the disease should be handled with special caution.
Signs and symptoms of Ebola
Signs and symptoms of Ebola usually begin suddenly with a flu-like stage characterized by fatigue, fever, headaches, and joint, muscle, and abdominal pain. Vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite are also common. Less common symptoms include the following: sore throat, chest pain, hiccups, shortness of breath and trouble swallowing. The average time between contracting the infection and the start of symptoms is 8 to 10 days, but it can vary between 2 and 21 days.

Transmission

It is not entirely clear how Ebola is spread. EVD is believed to occur after an ebola virus is transmitted to an initial human by contact with an infected animal's body fluids. Human-to-human transmission can occur via direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from an infected person (including embalming of an infected dead person) or by contact with contaminated medical equipment, particularly needles and syringes. Sem.en is infectious in survivors for up to 50 days. Transmission through oral exposure and through conjunctiva exposure is likely and has been confirmed in non-human primates. The potential for widespread EVD infections is considered low as the disease is only spread by direct contact with the secretions from someone who is showing signs of infection. The quick onset of symptoms makes it easier to identify sick individuals and limits a person's ability to spread the disease by traveling. Because dead bodies are still infectious, some doctors disposed of them in a safe manner, despite local traditional burial rituals.

Medical workers who do not wear appropriate protective clothing may also contract the disease. In the past, hospital-acquired transmission has occurred in African hospitals due to the reuse of needles and lack of universal precautions.
Airborne transmission has not been documented during previous EVD outbreaks. They are, however, infectious as breathable 0.8–1.2 micrometre laboratory generated droplets; because of this potential route of infection, these viruses have been classified as Category A biological weapons. Recently the virus has been shown to travel without contact from pigs to non-human primates.
Bats drop partially eaten fruits and pulp, then land mammals such as gorillas and duikers feed on these fallen fruits. This chain of events forms a possible indirect means of transmission from the natural host to animal populations, which has led to research towards viral shedding in the saliva of bats. Fruit production, animal behavior, and other factors vary at different times and places that may trigger outbreaks among animal population.

Reservoir

Bats are considered the most likely natural reservoir of the Ebola virus (EBOV); plants, arthropods, and birds have also been considered.[28] Bats were known to reside in the cotton factory in which the first cases for the 1976 and 1979 outbreaks were employed, and they have also been implicated in Marburg virus infections in 1975 and 1980. Of 24 plant species and 19 vertebrate species experimentally inoculated with EBOV, only bats became infected. The absence of clinical signs in these bats is characteristic of a reservoir species.

source
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola

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