What You Need to Know About Ebola Virus Disease

Origin of Ebola Virus

Ebola outbreak in Uganda risks the spread of the highly contagious disease to other East African Countries due to the porous borders.

Ebola virus disease outbreaks are common in Africa continent and mostly affects human beings and nonhuman primates.

The six known Ebola virus species are: Zaire ebolavirus, Sudan ebolavirus, Tai Forest ebolavirus, Bundibugyo ebolavirus. Reston ebolavirus and Bombali ebolavirus. Out of the six viruses, only four viruses have been confirmed to cause Ebola Virus disease in humans and nonhumans primates, that is Reston virus, Sudan virus, Tai Forest virus and Bundibugyo virus.

The first case of Ebola virus was first reported in 1976 in Democratic Republic of Congo. Since then, scientists who have been studying the genesis of the virus believe it is animal borne virus and suspect that bats and nonhuman primates of being the source.

Infected animals can spread the disease to other primates such as apes, human beings, duikers and monkeys.

How Can I get Ebora Virus Disease?

The initial infection of Ebola disease is through spillover from infected animal to a human being. There after the disease spreads from person to person leading to infection of a large population.

People get infected through direct contact of broken skins, mucosal membranes of eyes, nose or mouth with blood or any other body fluids such as urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, amniotic fluid and semen of either an infected person or someone who has died of the virus.

An individual can also get infected by being in contact with body objects such as needles, beddings, clothes and medical equipment that have been contaminated with body fluid of an infected person.

Spillover from infected fruit bats, apes, monkeys or chimpanzees to human beings can also occur transmitting the deadly disease. ­

Sexual intercourse with a man who recently had recovered from Ebola can lead to transmission of Ebola virus. This is because the Ebola virus can remain in certain body fluids without displaying severe symptoms.

How Do I Know I Have Ebola Virus?

Infected individuals take two to twenty-one days for symptoms to start manifesting. This is one as the incubation period and it varies with their innate body immunity.

The common symptoms of Ebola virus disease are: fever, ache, pains, severe headache, muscle and joint pains, weakness and fatigue, sore throat, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, hemorrhaging and bleeding. People who have contracted the disease can also have red eyes, skin rash and hiccups.

Why Do People with Ebola Bleed?  

Some patients suffering from Ebola virus disease experience bleeding from various openings in their body like ears, noses and eyes. Patients can also experience internal bleeding.

Bleeding in some Ebola patients happens as a result of interference of blood clotting by the virus. Once platelets are interfered with, they fail to work correctly.

How is Ebola Treated?

Ebola is treated through use of antibodies and supportive care. There also an approved vaccine for preventive care.

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