Ebola Virus DiseaseFormerly known as Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever First appeared in 1976 in two separate outbreaks; Nzara, Sudan and Yambuku in the Democratic Republic of CongoEVD is most commonly found in Tropical Central and West AfricaThe disease comes from the Rainforest Takes its name from the Ebola river, near which it first appearedThe disease is severe and often fatal in humans, with up to a 90% mortality rate
The virus originates from the Tropical Rainforests of Central and West Africa EVD lives within fruit bats in the rainforest The disease is transmitted to the human population through close contact with blood, sweat, secretions or other bodily fluids infection has been documented through the handling of infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead in the rainforest Human to human infection can be both direct and indirect Direct contact through broken skin and mucous membranes Indirect contact through contaminated environments from fluids of an infected person West African burial traditions are also a common way of infection; in these ceremonies, mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased. The virus lives on after death, and also can live in a man's sperm for up to 7 weeks if he gets cured of it
One of the problems with EVD is that the beginning symptoms look much like a lot of other, less severe illnesses The beginning symptoms are commonly fever, sore throat and muscle pain After the initial symptoms, they rapidly progress to excessive vomiting, diarrhoea and internal and external bleeding It can take as long as three weeks to begin showing symptoms, and incubation period is around the same amount of time Early diagnosis can improve a patient's chance of survival Most people with EVD die of loss of blood or Pulmonary Aspiration
There is currently no vaccine or cure for Ebola Virus Disease However, trial vaccines and medications are being tested at the present time The problem with this lies in the fact that testing to confirm the virus and what may cure it has to be done with the highest level of bio hazard protection, taking a lot of time Treating the symptoms of the disease, for example the extreme dehydration with oral hydration, is the only type of treatment even though it is not treating the disease itself With a varying 40 - 90% mortality rate, EVD is particularly tricky to cure A problem in West Africa is that a lot of people don't trust medical personnel to look after their loved ones. An African tradition when a person is sick is to keep them at home surrounded by their friends and family, and being quarantined in medical centres clashes with this custom Because of this, many people lose faith in Western Medicine when it appears to not be working and take the patients home to rest there and see a traditional village healer which spreads the disease further
In February of 2014, there was an outbreak in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia Since then, things have gotten spectacularly worse and over 700 people have died of the disease Things had gotten so out of control that Sierra Leone and Liberia declared states of public emergency, meaning the army is now free to come in and enforce quarantine zones In Sierra Leone, poor infection control and the mistrust in the health services allowed the disease to spread beyond the remote jungles, and into the coastal capital Freetown Liberia has closed schools and are considering quarantining whole communities where the disease is largely present Fears of transmission beyond Africa are spreading around the world, with airlines suspending flights to and from the infected countries, and screening passengers if they are flying out West African airline Asky has suspended flights to the Capitals of both Sierra Leone and Liberia Although the frenzy of fear about the spread of disease, there really is a low chance of it happening at all Scientist says it is no real threat, as the disease can't be transmitted through air like other respiratory dieases As well as this, the reason things are still bad in West Africa is because their health care systems aren't as effective as in first world countries, and it is said that if EVD was to spread to somewhere like America, they would be able to get a hold on it before it could do any real damage
What is it?
Effects on the body
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