Ebola Virus Disease Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
The disease is caused by a group of several similar viruses, called Ebola virus, in the family Filoviridae of the order Mononegavirales. The viruses are shaped like tubes, sometimes branched tubes, and use single-stranded RNA as material for genetic coding. Therefore the infected cells are commanded to make a corresponding DNA copy by means of the enzyme reverse transcriptase. The DNA copy is used by the infected cell for the production of viral protein and new viral RNA.
It is believed that the fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family living in tropical rainforests are the natural hosts of the EVD. This deadly virus is transmitted to people from wild animals as well as through other infected humans. It was passed on to humans by coming in close contact with the secretions, sweat, blood and other bodily fluids of EVD infected humans and various infected animals which include fruit bats, porcupines, chimpanzees, gorillas and monkeys found either sick or dead in and around tropical rainforests. Other ways to getting infected with Ebola is by touching contaminated needles.
It’s also true that Ebola is less contagious than other diseases, Ebola is transmitted by bodily fluids, not by air, water or mosquitoes. In other words, Ebola doesn’t spread by just being in proximity with someone infected. It’s not like the flu there has to be direct contact with the bodily fluids. Most of the cases reported have occurred in people who were nursing their infected family members and also those who prepared an Ebola Virus Disease infected dead body for burial.
The incubation period varies from two days to three weeks. In that period the disease is little contagious. The disease then suddenly begins with high fever, sore throat, lethargy, muscle and joint ache , severe headache, acute weakness, stomach pain andlack of appetite.
As the situation aggravates and the Ebola infection worsens, Ebola patient begins to experience diarrhea, vomiting, impaired liver function, rashes and worse of all internal and external bleeding. Some patients may also experience red eyes, chest pain,hiccups, trouble in breathing and swallowing.
Ebola Virus Diagnosis and Treatment
Several tests are conducted to diagnose Ebola such as serum neutralization test, antigen detection test, electron microscopy and so on.
There is no vaccine available to cure Ebola virus. Infected patients generally experience dehydration often. They require intensive care and need to be given oral rehydration solutions (ORS) containing electrolytes that helps treat dehydration in EVD patients.
Infected Ebola patients are isolated and populations that house infected individuals are also isolated by restriction entering and leaving the afflicted area.
Medical personal and support staff that go near to the patients use unpermeable clothes around themselves and all the air they breathe is filtered. In advanced treatment settings, the patient is shielded from the surroundings with unpenetrable barriers and air filters