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EBOLA HAEMORRHAGIC FEVER

posted on 19/8/2014

 HISTORY

Ebola haemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is a severe, often fatal viral hemorrhagic disease in humans and primates such as monkeys, gorillas, chimpanzees, and fruit bats.

Ebola HF is caused by infection with a virus of the family (filoviridae), genus (Ebolavirus). The first Ebolavirus species was discovered in 1976 in Zaire (Presently known as Democratic Republic of Congo) near the Ebola river.

There are five known species of Ebola virus. These are:

1.         Ebola Virus (Zaire ebolavirus)

2.         Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus)

3.         Tai forest virus (Tar forest ebolavirus) a. k. a Cote d’ivoire ebolavirus

4.         Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus)

5.         Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus)

            The virus is zoonotic (animal borne) with bats being the most likely reservoir

OUTBREAK OF EBOLA DISEASE: Past and Present

YEAR

COUNTRY

CASES

DEATHS

2012

DRC

57

29

2012

UGANDA

24

17

2011

UGANDA

1

1

2008

DRC

22

14

2007

UGANDA

149

37

2007

DRC

264

187

2005

CONGO

12

10

2004

SUDAN

17

7

2003 (2)

CONGO

35

29

2003 (1)

CONGO

143

128

2001/02

CONGO

59

44

2001/02

GABON

65

53

2000

UGANDA

425

224

1996

SOUTH AFRICA

1

1

1996 (2)

GABON

60

45

1996 (1)

GABON

31

21

1995

DRC

315

254

1994

COTE D’IVOIRE

1

1

1194

GABON

52

31

1979

SUDAN

34

22

1977

DRC

1

1

1976

SUDAN

284

151

1976

DRC

318

280

 

MODE OF TRANSMISSION

1.         Through direct contact with an infected animal (monkey, bat, chimapanzee)

2.         Direct contact with a sick person’s blood or body fluids (urine, saliva, faeces, vomit and semen) through broken skin or mucous membranes

NOTE:  Mucous membranes are those pink fleshy places in the openings of the body such as the eye, nose, inner ear, mouth, anus, opening of the penis and vagina or any wound on any part of the body.

3.         Contaminated objects such as needles and syringes.

4.         Dead bodies of infected individuals.

Note:  Ebola can only be spread to others after symptoms begin in infected individuals.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Symptoms may be seen 2 to 21 days after contracting the ebolavirus.

Early stage

1.         Fever

2.         Severe headache

3.         Weakness

4.         Abdominal pain

5.         Lack of appetite

6.         Sore throat

7.         Hiccups

8.         Chest pain

9.         Rash

10.       Muscular pain

Late stage

1.         Diarrhea (may contain blood)

2.         Vomiting (may contain blood)

3.         Red eyes

4.         Difficulty in breathing and swallowing

5.         Bleeding from the nose and mouth

6.         Cough (may contain blood)

 

PREVENTION/CONTROL

1.         Avoid coming in contact with materials/body fluids of infected person

2.         Avoid eating bush meat

3.         Wash hands with soap and running water

4.         Use hand Sanitizers

5.         Seek medical help if you or your family members feel sick (i.e show any of the above mentioned sign and symptoms)

6.         Dilute bleach in water and use to disinfect surrounding

TREATMENT:  Standard treatment for Ebola Hf is still limited to supportive  therapy. This include:

Balancing the patient’s fluids and electrolytes

Maintaining their oxygen status and blood pressure

Treating them for any complicating infections

 

UNTRUE STORIES

1.         Drinking  and bathing with salt water

2.         Eating of bitter kola

3.         Witchcraft

4.         Signs of the end of the world

5.         Punishment from God for blood shedding in the land

6.         God’s reaction to opposition to His supremacy : - cults, satanic churches, rituals, etc

 

Question/Answers

1.         Can ebola be transmitted through the air?

No. Ebola is not a respiratory disease like flu. It is not transmitted through the air

2.         Can I get ebola from contaminated food or water? No. It is not food or water borne disease.

3.         Can Ebola virus be transmitted from an individual who is infected with the virus but doesn’t have any symptom?

            No.  Individuals who are not symptomatic are not contagious. Before the virus can be transmitted, an individual would have to have direct contact with an individual who is exhibiting the symptoms.

4.         Can I get ebola from consumption of fruits/vegetables purchased from the market?

            The answer is no.

 

Please, help spread these facts and not the fear. Together we can win the battle against Ebola.

 


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