Ebola: One Of the Most Deadliest Disease That Affects Us
Ebola or Ebola Virus Disease is one of the most deadliest disease which affects us human beings and non human primates such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees. The virus is transmitted through wild animals and then multiples into the population through infected humans. A viral fever develops, known as the ebola haemorrhagic fever that will affect the blood system, and it being a severe illness can prove fatal (upto 90% cases have been fatal). This disease does not have a vaccine for prevention or even a specific treatment and patients who are severely infected require intensive medical care.
The outbreaks of this disease occur typically in the tropical rainforest areas. It was in Sudan and Zaire (now Congo, situated on the Ebola River), that the first time, in 1976, this virus was detected and hence the name too originates from one of those recorded outbreaks.
The symptoms will start to appear between the day span of 2-21 days after the exposure, although the average or common day span is 8-10 days. The progression of this leads to a bleeding phase where the body starts to bleed internally and externally from the ears, and nose.
As discussed before this disease is caused by a virus. Four of the five viruses that cause the disease in humans are in the genus Ebola virus, family Filoviridae, order Mononegavirales.
- Bundibugyo Ebola virus (BDBV)
- Zaire Ebola virus/Ebola virus (EBOV)
- Sudan Ebola virus (SUDV)
- Taï Forest Ebola virus (TAFV)
The fifth virus called Reston Ebola virus (RESTV) is the fifth out of the five viruses and will cause the disease in monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees (i.e non human primates)
The diangosis of this disease, specially in the early stages is difficult. This is due to the symptoms that appear are not exactly specific to Ebola infection.
But there are certain lab tests available through which the disease can be diagnosed. The tests are –
- Antibody-capture enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
- Antigen detection tests
- Polymerase Chain Reaction(PCR)
- Virus isolation by cell culture.
- Electron microscopy
Prevention And Management Of Ebola
There is no vaccine or specific treatment available for this disease, rather to prevent it too. Even early treatment of the symptoms, predominantly headache and fever are also non specific to this disease making it all the more difficult to manage if a person is indeed affected by it.
Isolation and barrier nursing techniques are employed as the primary and effective preventive measures. The Isolation technique is nothing but isolating or separating the people who are infected with the virus and who are sick with this disease from people who are not sick.
There is a 24-hour Emergency Helpline set up by the Government of India providing enhanced tracking and surveillance system. Also, AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) and Ram Manohar Lohia are the hospitals that have been identified and given the task for any management and treatment of the people who might be suspected of getting infected and the people who already have been affected by the virus.
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