What is Ebola?Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever is the official name.It is an infectious disease whose outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%. The fatal disease is marked by fever and severe internal bleeding, spread through contact with infected body fluids by a filovirus ( Ebola virus ), whose normal host species is unknown.Ebola first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, in Nzara, Sudan, and in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter was in a village situated near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name
What causes Ebola Fever?
Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals. In Africa, infection has been documented through the handling of infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest. Filovirus ( Ebola virus ) is the main causative agent.
How is Ebola Transmitted?When an infection does occur in humans, there are several ways in which the virus can be transmitted to others. These include:
- direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person
- exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions
How is Ebola treated?Standard treatment for Ebola HF is still limited to supportive therapy. This consists of:
- balancing the patient’s fluids and electrolytes
- maintaining their oxygen status and blood pressure
- treating them for any complicating infections