What you should know about Ebola

The Ebola virus is a fatal epidemic reemerged recently in few West African countries such as Liberia and Sierra Leone. The survival rate after contraction the virus varies with age. The disease has killed up to 70% of people who contracted the virus. The world health organization (WHO) indicates that up to 10,477 people have already died of Ebola. Moreover, there are another 25,263 suspected cases until April 2015. (WHO, 2015)

Ebola was identified in Africa in 2013. Its origin dates back to 1976.

  Patient Zero:

A two year old child from Guinea diagnosed with Ebola virus. To this day, no one knows how he got himself infected with Ebola, the child was the first person to manifest the disease as we know it today.

Outbreak Map: The map shows the current situation of the Ebola Epidemic in Africa.

The nature of the bug:

The culprit of the current Ebola epidemic is Zaire virus, the most dangerous virus of ‘Ebola’. It is called Zaire virus because this was first identified in Congo (the then Zaire) in 1976. Studies have shown that the outbreak in the Western Africa is caused by a similar virus found in the central Africa and hence this may have spread through the wildlife. This region is covered with the dense forest where Wildlife travels across borders.

Ebola Virus Particles
Among the many studies conducted, the most recent one by joint Tulane and Harvard University has confirmed the seriousness of the current outbreak. The reason behind is a 341 genetic changes of the virus from the previous one. They made this assertion after collecting and sequencing 99 Ebola virus genomes from 78 Ebola patients in Sierra Leone.

How can we get the virus?
No clear knowledge of how we get the virus until now. It Maybe humans first got the virus through direct contact with body fluids of infected animals. For example, a bat may carry ebolaviruse eats fruits, and mammals like gorillas and bikers also shared the same fruit infected with bat’s saliva. So now, the virus is on the ground many mammals access to it including human. Scientist call this a chain event. Humans got infected through an indirect transmission from this chain reaction.
On the other hand, human to human transmission is the most severe kind of Ebola transmission. It has been found that contact with bodily fluids and blood of an infected person transmits Ebola to other humans. However, airborne transmission cannot be excluded because researchers have still their doubts as a possibility.

Who do I know if I have Ebola?
It has been identified that a patient shows the symptoms of Ebola within the average of 8 days, but doctors suggest that the symptoms of Ebola is generally visible between 2 to 21 days. Some of the symptoms of Ebola are

High Fever

Weakness

Vomiting

Muscle Pain.

Diarrhea

Severe Headache

Fatigue

Abdominal Pain

Unexpected bleeding

How to Treat Ebola?

No approved vaccine, antiviral drug or medicine is available to treat Ebola yet. Treatment is given in accordance to the virus load. Since there is no cure for Ebola, doctors try to destroy infected cells in the body. However, some experimental medications and vaccines on animals seemed successful, but haven’t tried on human.