Ebola is a highly contagious and a high mortality rate disease. The pathogen filovirus triggered international health alarms as threatening to become the plague of the XXI century. We tell you everything you need to know about the deadly virus.
The Ebola is a form of hemorrhagic fever that develops suddenly with high fever, intense pain, vomiting and diarrhea (cause dehydration), then to affect organs such as the liver and kidneys, resulting in severe internal bleeding that in a few days, can cause death. At the moment, while working around the clock to find a vaccine, it lacks an effective treatment and its mortality rate is about 80%.
But, what we are facing? what is the Ebola virus? There are still many questions that researchers and physicians seek answers, especially to find the most effective treatment. The UN has approved the use of experimental drugs (experimental serum, for example).
The Ebola virus
Ebola virus was first described in the sixties of the twentieth century, the effects were evident in 1976 to cause a number of deaths in the current Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. In 1995, in the former Zaire, and in 1996, in northwestern Gabon, WHO confirmed two other outbreaks. Between 2001 to 2003 were detected several outbreaks in Gabon and Republic of Congo.
There are five subtypes of Ebola virus, described between 1976 to 2007. Its name reflects the geographic location in which they are detected. We are facing a highly lethal virus, but obviously varies depending on the subtype. WHO figure in 55% of its average fatality rate, although the virus which we currently face is the Zaire, the most virulent and with a mortality rate that can exceed 80-90%.
Diagnosis of Ebola
It is not easy to diagnose Ebola presence certainty, since the symptoms (fever, for example), are common to many other diseases. It is essential to perform laboratory tests to correctly identify the virus. The incubation period of the virus ranges from 2 to 21 days (since the infection occurs until symptoms appear).
Symptoms of Ebola
As we have pointed out, ebola causes hemorrhagic fever, with the appearance of weakness, pain headache, sore throat, muscle pain, vomiting, rash, diarrhea and liver and kidneys dysfunction. This can lead to internal and external bleeding. With regard to infection, experts point to a direct contact with blood and secretions from patients or animals. The physical contact with infected patients can be highly risky, especially for medical personnel if all safety measures are not taken (use masks, gloves, gowns, for example).
Preventive measures and treatment
To reduce the risk of contagion is recommended to incinerate infected animals, avoid contact with raw meat from infected monkey or ape and exposure to fruit bats.
As to treatment, there are none arising hundred percent effective, although they have launched various research to find a drug or vaccine. In case of Ebola fever, patients is necessary to rehydrates, via oral or intravenous, solutions with electrolytes.