EVD – Ebola Virus Disease
Were you aware that the average fatality rate for the Ebola Virus is 50%? Ebola Virus Disease (or EVD) is a rare and deadly disease that is highly infectious. It is zoonotic so it affects both humans and non-human primates alike. In all, there are five species of the virus: Ebola virus, Sudan virus, Tai Forest virus, Bundibugyo virus, and Reston virus. Ebola is interesting due to how much panic it can bring to people when they here about an outbreak. The virus was first discovered by Baron Peter Karel Piot in 1976. It was discovered near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has been infecting people ever since. It is unknown how it was first spread, but it is believed that it spread through contact with bats. It has continued to affect parts of Africa ever since as outbreaks keep occuring in its countries.
As of March 2014, 11,315 deaths have been accounted for due to the virus.Ebola is spread through physical contact with an infected person’s body fluids, such as urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen, or from those who have died from it. These fluids will contaminate the objects that it comes in contact with. When a contaminated area is touched, the virus will enter through any broken skin or the eyes, nose, and mouth. While usually not being transmitted through eating food, bushmeat that is infected can lead to infection. There is also no evidence of mosquitos or other insects being able to spread the virus. When infected, a person will begin to experience fevers, headaches, muscle pain, and chills. Later on
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though, they will begin to bleed internally, causing them to vomit or cough out blood. “”Ebola then turns the inside of its host into jelly; you begin to vomit black junk which is basically your dissolved liver and internal organs.This quote by Andrew Cormier shows just how bad the symptoms for Ebola truly are as the virus literally causes your organs to break down. Afterwards, symptoms will usually start after 2 to 21 days after contact with an average of 8 to 10. Ebola can’t spread if the host shows no sign of having the virus. Because of the initial symptoms, it is difficult to diagnose it as Ebola since they are shared by other diseases like malaria and typhoid fever. A combination of symptoms and a possible cause of exposure could lead to a diagnosis. If diagnosed isolation from people would be necessary.
Afterwards, blood samples are taken to search for the virus. Out of all species of Ebola, only the Reston virus is the only one that doesn’t affect humans, as it only affects primates and pigs. Pigs are the only species of livestock shown to be at risk of infection. Even so, dogs and cats aren’t able to spread the disease or get sick from it.While there is no cure to the Ebola virus, it can be prevented and stopped. For one, having good hand hygiene can be a good method of defending yourself from the virus. But for extreme fortification, a vaccine known as rVSV-ZEBOV was created by the Public Health Agency of Canada to prevent people from getting infected. It was found to be highly protective by the World Health Organization. If you are infected by Ebola though, the only way to cure it is through supportive hospital care. Even so, if treated uncarefully, it can spread quickly through healthcare centers. While ebola can survive for several days in body fluids, it can only survive for a couple hours on a dry surface,which then can be killed by certain disinfectants. Even though the symptoms are deadly, it is possible to survive Ebola. A survivor of the virus may
experience side effects like tiredness, muscle aches, problems with their eyes and vision, and stomach pain after they have recovered. When a survivor returns to their community, however, they may face stigma or disgrace from their community. Even after they have recovered, a person will still have the virus living inside certain body fluids. These fluids include semen, breast milk, ocular fluids like tears, spinal column fluid. Areas that contain these fluids are called immunologically privileged sites. Viruses hide here to avoid getting cleared by the immune system. Scientists are currently studying how long Ebola remains within the body fluids of the survivors.Ebola is interesting due to how much panic it can bring to people when they here about an outbreak. It is responsible for the deaths of thousands of lives. It is capable of destroying entire communities. While it can be prevented, it can mean death to those who haven’t taken precaution to it. It is certainly a virus to be fearful of.
Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease). (2016, January 07). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/resources/virus-ecology.html