Although it is scattered around the world, it is difficult to know the hidden places in which it inhabits. Without a doubt, an invisible danger that causes serious damage to human beings. The outbreaks have, so far, a fatality rate of approximately 50%.
Having knowledge of the diseases that exist today is very important for everyone. Therefore, in this article you will find what you need to know about the Ebola virus, the symptoms and ways to avoid contagion.
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Where did Ebola start?
Ebola hemorrhagic fever was first detected in 1976. It was discovered thanks to two outbreaks in Nzara and Yambuku, now known as South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Interestingly, the virus got its name from the Ebola River, close to those cities.
The genus Ebolavirus is one of the three members that are part of the family Filoviridae. Five different species belong to this classification:
- Ebolavirus Bundibugyo Ebolavirus Zaire Ebolavirus Sudan Ebolavirus Reston Ebolavirus Taï Forest
The longest and most dangerous outbreak since the onset of the disease occurred in West Africa. The variant responsible for the event was of the Zaire species. During the years 2014 and 2016, the largest viral contamination, exceeding the number of cases and outbreaks detected so far.
However, this condition was not retained in that geographic area, but began to spread throughout several countries. It first reached Guinea and then advanced across land borders, until it reached Sierra Leone and Liberia.
What symptoms does the disease cause?
The incubation time, from when the virus is acquired until the first signs of the disease appear, can vary from 2 to 21 days. Those infected are not in danger of transmitting the germ until symptoms appear. Some of the most common infectious signs are:
- Have a sudden fever It consists of increasing body temperature as a defensive measure of the immune system. In general, it can be confused with one of the symptoms of other diseases, making it extremely dangerous.Soft spot. It is a feeling of decay, which becomes persistent and can leave you in bed or without spirits for some time.Muscle, headache or throat pain. They are common infectious signs. Therefore, you should visit a specialist to rule out other conditions. Threw up. It usually appears as the illness develops. It consists of the violent expulsion of food that is inside your stomach. It can cause dehydration and damage to the esophagus. Its appearance should not be underestimated.Diarrhea, or at worst dysentery. Common symptoms that have multiple viral conditions. It can easily be mistaken for an upset stomach or poor digestion. Without prompt treatment it causes dehydration.Rashes. They are a clear wake-up call. These are small marks on the skin, which can be itchy and uncomfortable.Kidney and liver dysfunctions. They are serious symptoms that you should see a doctor immediately. Kidney and liver functions are affected. In the future, these discomforts can lead to serious consequences.
- Internal and external bleeding. They appear in the most urgent cases. By breaking the blood vessels, an injury is created that triggers blood loss. It is imperative to visit a doctor to avoid deadly consequences.
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Is Ebola contagious?
The virus reaches the human population through contact with the organs, body fluids and excrements of infected animals. The fruit bat is one of the most frequent hosts of Ebola.
Likewise, chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, antelopes and porcupines are some species that have been found related to the contagion to humans.
Once contact is made with a sick animal, the rest of the spread takes place within the community. As a result of the interaction with body fluids linked to the infectious host, mycosis begins to spread between people.
Another way of contagion is through the approach to objects belonging to or touched by the patient. During burial ceremonies, any contact with an infected corpse is highly risky.
In addition, although it has been little studied, sexual contact represents another way people get the virus. It is recommended that if any member of the couple becomes ill, they seek medical advice to prevent spread.
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How to prevent and treat it?
It is vitally important that you stay away from places where Ebola patients have been reported. In case of infection, make a visit to the doctor so as not to spread the virus in your community. Some actions to stop infections are:
- Reduce contact with possible infected animalsDo not eat raw or undercooked meat that may have been exposed to Ebola Avoid close contact with infected people. In case of contact with patients or their surroundings, use gloves and personal protective equipment to reduce the risk of sexual transmission. It is recommended maintain protected relationships during the following 12 months, counting from the appearance of the first symptoms. Minimize the exchange of fluids Keep outbreaks under sanitary control and in isolation Maintain good hygiene inside and outside the home Stay away from contaminated corpses Wash your hands regularly to prevent germs from inhabiting your home. Rinsing with plenty of soap and water is recommended. Encourage the separation of the healthy population from the infected, to avoid a massive spread.
A successful method of treating Ebola is not yet known, but there are several options and procedures to help fight the disease.
- It is necessary to maintain a rehydration treatment with oral or intravenous fluids. There is no approved vaccine against the virus. However, there is an experimental alternative that has shown positive results. The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine has been shown to protect against this condition.
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