What is Ebola?

Learn about all the types of Ebola, its symptions, ways to catch or treat it. Knowledge can help you stay well and escape this disease.

Of late this rare virus’ name – Ebola has been discussed in most regions of the world, because it is a deadly hemorrhagic fever that easily spreads from person to person. It is a virus that leads to bleeding and death in 7 cases out of 10.  Moreover, just a year ago the disease had a new outbreak in Africa with high risks of getting it spread around the globe.

what is Ebola?

What is Ebola?

  1. About the virus 

  • Virus name etymology

    This is one of the things you should know about Ebola virus. Its name derives from the river name – Ebola, it is in Zaire, Africa. That is where this virus was first found back in 1976.
  • What is Ebola virus

    Ebola is a sort of hemorrhagic fever and it is very closely related to Marburgvirus virus. Both viruses evoke similar symptoms. At this Ebola leads to high death risk; nine out of ten people infected by it die.
  • Ebola mortality rate
    ebola mortality rate
    According to World Health Organization seven out of ten people die of Ebola after being infected with it. This means the rate is around 70 percent. Unfortunately, there is no way to lower it, as only person’s immune system can cope with the disease and all the treatment for it is symptomatic.
  • Main kinds of Ebola

    Scientists have found five types of Ebola virus.  Learning about Ebola virus, you might have already figured out that it originates from Africa. So, some of these types of the virus have the names of five African countries or regions. Those are: Sudan, Zaire, Reston, Bundibugyo and Tai Forest virus.

    These types have different symptoms of Ebola virus. Only 4 of them can be dangerous for humans. The one that is not contagious for people is the Reston ebola virus. It did not originate from Africa. In fact it was first discovered in Philippines in 1989. The cradle of this virus is macaque monkeys from Philippines. 
  • Main Ebola outbreaks

    main Ebola outbreaks Find out what is Ebola, we should mention the chronology of the main Ebola outbreaks.

    The first one took place in 1976 in Zaire and that is when Ebola was first revealed. Back then over 300 people got infected with this virus and 280 of them died.

    The next outbreak took place just three years later in 1979 in Philippines.

    Likely for people this type of Ebola was not contagious for them and only monkeys suffered from it.  Though the virus samples were delivered to USA and examined there. That is how they discovered it was a new Ebola type.

    The following outbreak took place in Congo in 1995. With three hundred and fifteen people infected they had 250 deaths. So, as you may see, the death level is high with this disease.

    There were three more epidemics of this virus disease in 2000, 2007 and 2014. Of course, the official data on infected people and the ones who died of this disease cannot be counted as accurate; hundreds of people might have died in African villages with no one around to diagnose the deadly virus. 
  • Mode of infection

    One of the primary issues to learn when discovering what Ebola virus is are the ways one can catch this virus. The germ can be gotten only through direct contact with a germ carrier or through contact with things infested with blood or other bodily liquids. Human mucous membranes as well as damaged skin are vulnerable to this virus.

    Since Ebola cannot be caught by air one does not need to wear a mask, unless you are taking care of Ebola patients. Wearing protective gloves and other protective gear is one of the main prevention measures; one has to avoid using tableware, medical equipment, commodities that might have been used by the infected people.
  1. Symptoms of Ebola virus
    symptoms of Ebola virus
    The egg stage of Ebola can last from two days to three weeks. Ebola virus symptomsinclude such things as:
    - weakness and dizziness;
    - headaches;
    - muscle pain;
    - diarrhea;
    - chest pain;
    - coughing;
    - fever;
    - intense bleeding;
    - anemia.

  2. Diagnosing Ebola virus

    There are 3 main diagnose methods used for Ebola. First doctors need to know if there is any possibility of being plagued with this disease. When you learn what is Ebola virus, you discover that you can get infected only through direct contact. This means a person has to visit Africa and its certain regions to get that virus.

    Next, doctors monitor the condition of a person and look for the above listed symptoms. Finally, they run the blood test to find germs in the blood of a patient.

  3. Ebola virus treatment and expected response to treatment

    ebola virus treatment Unfortunately, presently there are no efficient vaccines or drugs to treat Ebola. 

    However, patients with this disease need good care and treatment.

    Often time they may die of dehydration and high fever.

    So, they need supportive care to boost their chances to survive the infection. Other symptoms can be treated as well, such as diarrhea, anxiety, muscle pain, etc.

  4. The consequences of Ebola outbreaks

    Besides the deaths of people from this germ, it has greatly affected the economy of many places around the world. First of all African tourism industry has taken a severe blow in 2014. People in English speaking countries were afraid to go there and canceled their tours to many African countries.

How Nigeria got Ebola free in 2014

what is ebola 2

Ebola effect did not end with the taking human lives away.

It has had some damaging consequences for the economy of many African countries, including Nigeria.

Luckily Nigeria was not among the countries most damaged by this virus during its latest outbreak.

There were three countries in West Africa that took the blow: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Still Nigeria was terrified when a sick passenger got on the flight and came out of the aircraft in the Nigeria airport. The reaction of Nigerian authorities showed how able and ready they were to stand against this deadly disease. T

hey were able to identify the virus carrier and isolate him in no time. Plus, they have found everyone he was in contact with and isolated them, too.  All the possible contacts of the infected person were tracked down and treated for Ebola.

Here is an amazing fact: medical officials had to meet and inspect over 18 thousand people to eliminate all possibilities of getting Ebola spread in Nigeria. The first person who brought Ebola to this country was someone called Sawyer and he infected 19 people. All of which were found and isolated to prevent the further infection spread in the region.

READ ALSO: Top 10 deadly diseases in Africa.

Why does Ebola keep on spreading around?

what is ebola 3

  • Poor education and training of medical stuff
    In many cases, nurses or even doctors do not understand the ways this disease gets spread from person to person. This means, they do not use the protection means to avoid getting infected.
  • Ebola wastes pollute villages and towns
    Ebola gets transmitted from person to person through body liquids and wastes. In many cases the lack of sanitary means promotes its spreading.
  • Lack of safety products
    Not all the hospital or people handling Ebola patients have adequate protection means: rubber gloves, medical overalls, etc.

Presently WHO has proclaimed Nigeria to be free from Ebola; still many people are afraid to visit African countries for business or for leisure. Understanding what Ebola is and how it gets transmitted can save one’s life. However, over the last years this disease blunted the reputation and economy of the Western Africa and it would take a long while to mend this blunt.

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