Ebola is the term used for a class of viruses that cause the Ebola hemorrhagic fever also known as the Ebola virus disease which is currently spreading at an abnormal rate in West Africa.
The initial symptoms of Ebola are the same as the common flu, including fever, headache, malaise, muscle pain, and sore throat. The symptoms can begin anywhere from within a few days to a few weeks. The initial symptoms will be followed by bleeding, diarrhea, decreased function of the liver and kidneys, nausea, and vomiting.
Transmission of the disease
The disease is transmitted by coming into contact with the bodily fluids such as blood, semen, vomit, or feces of an infected person or animal.
Signs and symptoms of Ebola
The symptoms will start occurring at least 2 weeks after exposure. The initial symptoms of Ebola are aches and pains, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, fever and chills, and malaise. Followed by nausea, often accompanied by abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
The central nervous system will become affected which will make the victim feel severe headaches, altered mental status, and seizures. Sometimes these symptoms can result in the patient going into a coma. If there are disorders in blood clotting, this means that the victim is in advanced stage of the disease.
• Broken blood vessels in the skin
• Bloody vomit or sputum
• Bleeding from gums
• Blood in bowel movements
• Collections of blood under the skin after injections
• Spotty rashes
• Spontaneous nosebleeds
When the bleeding disorder occurs, the chance of the victim to survive is slim. Although some deaths from severe hemorrhage have occurred to women giving birth, the usual cause of death is multiple organ failure.
Ebola doesn’t spread until the victim has developed symptoms. As the illness progresses, the body fluids from bleeding, diarrhea, and vomiting become highly contagious. Medical authorities in underdeveloped countries such West Africa fails to tame the outbreak, because of lack of proper medical supplies and poor hygiene. The best thing that the medical authorities can do is to isolate sick people as best as they can and follow infectious disease precautions. However, a lot of medical personnel are getting sick because they are being exposed to people who are infected by this disease.
As of now there is no known treatment, cure, or vaccine for Ebola virus. The best thing that the doctors can do for the patients are, to make them feel comfortable and hope that they will get better on their own.
Number of people that died of Ebola in 2014
1,320 cases of Ebola virus have been reported since February, and 729 people have died because of this virus. This includes two US aid workers; they got infected while treating infected patients in Africa. Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria are the countries that have most number of infections.
Can this virus become a global pandemic?
According to experts Ebola virus cannot become a global pandemic, because of these reasons:
• It requires a close contact with the infected or deceased person to spread the virus.
• Most case of this virus occurs in remote regions in the world.
• Patients die very quickly, leaving less time for exposure.
Still, it makes sense to stock up on masks, gowns, eye protection, and gloves. You should also learn how to have an effective survival sick room.
What are the people in Africa doing to prevent the disease from spreading?
The president of Sierra Leone, President Ernest Bai Koroma, declared a state of emergency, stating that ‘extraordinary measure will be taken’, he also announced the sealing off of towns and homes, restricting public gatherings, conducting active surveillance and searching every house to track victims of the virus, and also establishing a new protocol of screening at the airport. The Nigerian government is tracking down almost tens of thousands of people. These people are said to be at risk of the virus.
What are the people in the US doing to prevent the disease from spreading?
As of now, experts believe that there is a small chance of a widespread transmission of the disease. There are some discussions going on about changing the screening rules for passengers at the airport and also about providing an air-ambulance for infected people, but none of them have been confirmed yet.
This disease is a very serious matter; even though it has a low chance of spreading worldwide you should take it seriously. You should be aware of the dangers that this disease poses. This disease can devastate this entire world if it becomes widespread. You and your family should be prepared for a worst case outbreak of this disease and also for other infectious diseases.
Remember that this disease has no cure and treatment. The best thing that you can do if the virus were to get out is to stay away from other people. If this happens you will need a massive supply of food, water, and other things for survival.