We all know about Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa. Without any doubt, the news has scared all of us. And this brings us to the question of awareness about Ebola virus. Instead of just watching the news and getting scared, it is better to find out what we can do to prevent it.
What is Ebola and how deadly it can be?
Ebola is a severe disease which if undiagnosed or untreated can lead to death. Ebola virus disease is also known as EHF (Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever). The risk involved is very high. The average Ebola death rate reported has increased from 50% to 70% and this percentage is increasing with every passing day.
Ebola virus causes:
There are five viruses of Ebolavirus out of which four causes Ebola virus disease to humans. They are:
- Bundibugyo virus (BDBV)
- Sudan virus (SUDV)
- Tai Forest virus (TAFV)
- Ebola virus (EBOV)
- Reston virus (RESTV)
The one which is accountable for most outbreaks all across the world and still most dangerous is EBOV. It is contagious disease and can be transmitted from one to another. Coming in direct contact with body fluids or blood of the infected person can cause this virus. Semen, urine, breast milk, tears, sweat, vomit, mucus and saliva are some body fluids that may contain Ebola. Cuts, open wounds, mouth, eyes and nose are some common entry points. There is still no evidence of transmission of Ebola through air, water or food.
Ebola virus symptoms:
It can take 2 to 21 days for Ebola virus symptom to actually appear after coming in contact with Ebola virus. Early symptoms include Headache, Sore Throat, Muscle Pain, Fever and Fatigue.
With time, these symptoms become more severe and include Rash, Diarrhea, Stomach Pain, Vomiting, Nausea and Internal or External Bleeding. There can be more symptoms like Low Platelet Counts and White Blood Cells.
Ebola virus diagnosis:
It is very difficult to diagnose this disease as Ebola virus symptoms can be confused with other major diseases such as meningitis, typhoid fever and malaria. Therefore, it is diagnosed with some major investigations like antigen-capture detection tests, antibody-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), electron microscopy, serum neutralization test and RT-PCR assay.
Taking into account some points can actually help you prevent this disease. First, avoid close or direct contact with the infected person’s blood or body fluid. In case, you have a friend or relative who is infected with the virus then you just have to be extra careful while taking care of them. Either, avoid eating raw meat of animals or cook them thoroughly before eating as they might be infected with Ebola virus disease.
Prevention is always better than cure, and which is why you should know the causes, symptoms, risk and prevention of Ebola virus disease. Self-awareness is your key to a healthy life.