- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Ebola hemorrhagic fever
The Ebola virus. The Black Death of the XXI century.
Ebola is caused by a virus. It is a serious disease with a fatal outcome in 90% of cases. This virus can affect both humans and other animals. It is transmitted by direct contact (person to person) or indirect (through objects that touched the infected person), it is also spread by blood or secretions (urine, feces, sweat, tears, mucus , etc).
Symptoms usually appear between 2 and 21 days after exposure to the virus. These symptoms are:
- Temperature (over 37.6ºC).
- Joint and muscle pain.
- Diarrhea (sometimes bloody).
- Vomiting (also with traces of blood).
- Abdominal pain.
- Ocular redness (not usually occur in all cases).
- Internal and external bleeding.
The first symptoms can be confused with simple colds, or other common diseases. This makes it difficult to diagnose if the infected person has been recently exposed to the virus. However, before these symptoms and suspected of infection by Ebola, the person must remain isolated in quarantine. The infected patient and medical personnel who diagnosed, should (and is required) inform the responsible health authorities.
There is no cure for Ebola and vaccines that have recently emerged could not act correctly on the virus. The treatment consists of administering intravenous hydration and blood plasma, parenteral nutrition, oxygen and specific treatment for the complications that the patient may suffer.
Questions that may arise.
Who is most at risk of contracting the Ebola virus?
The health personnel responsible for providing medical care to the infected patient, and family and friends who have had contact with the patient. This is because they may have come into contact with the fluids of the patient at any time after exposure.
Can I get ebola from an infected person who has no symptoms?
No. People infected with the Ebola virus are not contagious until symptoms occur.
If someone survives the disease Ebola, that person can transmit the virus?
Has shown that, once the patient has recovered from the disease, it can no longer transmit the virus. However, the virus can be found in the semen to 3 months after healing. Therefore, it is recommended that people who have recovered from Ebola abstain from sex or use condoms, for at least 3 months.
Does the Ebola virus can be transmitted through mosquito bites ?.
The Ebola virus is preventable. If you are traveling to some of the areas affected by this virus, follow the following preventive measures:
- Wash your hands often. Use soap and water. Wash your hands for 5 minutes at least.
- Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of others, especially if they are infected.
- Do not touch objects that have been in contact with blood or body fluids of others.
- Do not touch the body of another person who has died from Ebola.
- Do not touch bats and primates, nor their blood or body fluids. Do not touch, or eat, raw (or cooked) meat derived from these animals.
- Avoid going to hospitals where they are providing treatment for Ebola. The Embassy of your country can provide information on medical establishments that you can go.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you have a high temperature, together with any of the symptoms described above.
- In the above case, limit your contact with others until you can see a doctor.