What is Ebola?
Ebola Virus Disease is sometimes called Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever.
Ebola virus disease is sometimes called Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever because some strains can cause hemorrhage, or bleeding, inside or outside of the infected person's body. It is caused by a group of RNA viruses that attack the human immune system. It can also infect primates, antelopes, bats, and pigs.
Signs and Symptoms of Ebola
Ebola virus disease is severe and can be fatal about 50% of the time. It will make a person sick for about 7-14 days. Signs and symptoms include: fever, body aches, sore throat, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, shortness of breath, swelling, confusion, rash, decreased blood clotting, and bleeding. Once a person recovers from the disease, they will have antibodies for up to ten years. This means that once a person recovers from ebola, they cannot catch the disease for at least ten years.
Detection and Treatment of Ebola Virus
If it is possible that a person has been exposed to ebola virus and they are showing symptoms, they must be isolated immediately. Public health officials will conduct thorough investigation and try to identify all of that person's contacts, as well as the contacts' contacts. The only way to be sure that a person has the disease is with a blood test. Even so, antibodies for ebola virus might not show up in a person's blood until several days after they have become sick.
There is no specific treatment for ebola, so doctors try to control the fever and keep the person well hydrated. They might give them medicine for diarrhea and vomiting, or something to help their blood clot. People who are given good health care have good chances of surviving the disease. As of June 2019, there has only been one death from ebola in the United States. The person who died was the first ebola patient in the country, and he was showing symptoms before he arrived in the US.
How to prevent ebola virus
Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with an infected person. It is not airborne. It can enter your body through your mucous membranes or a cut. This is why hand washing, avoiding contact with people or animals that might be infected, and using personal protective equipment when working with ebola patients is very effective at protecting people from acquiring the disease.
During the West African Ebola epidemic of 2013-2016, local people noticed that anyone who came in contact with the body of a deceased loved one was contracting the virus. Local organizations began to work with people to make funerals and burials safer in order to prevent the disease from spreading.
How is ebola transmitted?
Ebola is considered a zoonosis, meaning that is is transferred from animals to humans. It is believed that humans came into contact with the virus by interacting with infected animals during hunting.
Between humans, ebola is communicable through contact with bodily fluids. It enters the body through breaks in skin or mucous membranes. Even after a person has recovered, it can be present in certain body fluids.