Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Ebola Virus

Ebola virus cause haemorrhagic fevers — illnesses marked by severe bleeding (haemorrhage), organ failure and, in many cases, death. This virus is native to Africa, where sporadic outbreaks have occurred for decades. Ebola virus lives in animal hosts, and humans can contract the viruses from infected animals. After the initial transmission, the viruses can spread from person to person through contact with body fluids or contaminated needles.

No drug has been approved to treat the virus. People diagnosed with Ebola virus receive supportive care and treatment for complications. Scientists are coming closer to developing vaccines for these deadly diseases. Signs and symptoms typically begin abruptly within five to 10 days of infection with Ebola virus. Early signs and symptoms include:
  • Fever
  • Severe headache
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Chills
  • Weakness
And overtime, increased condition may include symptoms like:
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea (may be bloody)
  • Red eyes
  • Raised rash
  • Chest pain and cough
  • Stomach pain
  • Severe weight loss
  • Bleeding, usually from the eyes, and bruising (people near death may bleed from other orifices, such as ears, nose and rectum)
  • Internal bleeding
Experts suspect that it is transmitted to humans through an infected animal's bodily fluids. Examples include:
1. Blood: Butchering or eating infected animals can spread the viruses. Scientists who have operated on infected animals as part of their research have also contracted the virus.
2. Waste products: Tourists in certain African caves and some underground mine workers have been infected with the Ebola virus, possibly through contact with infected bats.

Infected people typically don't become contagious until they develop symptoms. Family members are often infected as they care for sick relatives or prepare the dead for burial. Medical personnel can be infected if they don't use protective gear, such as surgical masks and gloves. Medical centres in Africa are often so poor that they must reuse needles and syringes. Some of the worst Ebola epidemics have occurred because contaminated injection equipment wasn't sterilized between uses.

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