Ebola virus disease (also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever), along with being one of mankind’s deadliest diseases, is also one of its most brutal. It causes extreme body aches, high fever, profuse vomiting, diarrhea and heavy internal and external bleeding, sometimes through body orifices and the pores of the skin. It is caused by a virus known as Ebola virus which was first identified in 1976.
Symptoms can manifest themselves between two and 21 days after exposure and usually begin with headaches and fever. There is no cure for the disease, which has been fatal in up to 90 percent of patients during some outbreaks, though the current outbreak has killed about 60 percent of those so far infected.
According the the World Health Organization, treatments include managing the patient’s fluids and electrolytes, as well as blood pressure and kidney function, all of which are in jeopardy as the infected bleed out of organs and even blood vessels. (Source) . Read more about Ebola here
Some countries in West Africa are battling a deadly Ebola outbreak which has killed at least 887 people, mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone in more than 1900 cases since March 2014.
Some Key Facts About Ebola
Recently, the US Embassy put out a circular concerning Ebola which includes how to recognise it and how to prevent yourself from getting infected. Below are some of the key points of that circular:
The suspected reservoirs for Ebola are fruit bats.
Transmission to humans is thought to originate from infected bats or primates that have become infected by bats.
Undercooked infected bat and primate (bush) meat transmits the virus to humans.
Human to human transmission is only achieved by physical contact with a person who is acutely and gravely ill from the Ebola virus or their body fluids.
Transmission among humans is almost exclusively among caregiver family members or health care workers tending to the very ill.
The virus is easily killed by contact with soap, bleach, sunlight, or drying. A washing machine will kill the virus in clothing saturated with infected body fluids.
A person can incubate the virus without symptoms for 2-21 days, the average being 5-8 days before becoming ill. THEY ARE NOT CONTAGIOUS until they are acutely ill.
Only when ill does the viral load express itself first in the blood and then in other bodily fluids (to include vomit, feces, urine, breast milk, semen and sweat).
If you are walking around you are not infectious to others.
There are documented cases from Kikwit, DRC of an Ebola outbreak in a village that had the custom of children never touching an ill adult. Children living for days in small one room huts with parents who died from Ebola did not become infected.
You cannot contract Ebola by handling money, buying local bread or swimming in a pool.
As always practice good hand washing techniques, but you will not contract Ebola if you do not touch a dying person.
Lastly Salt and water cannot prevent or cure Ebola so don’t be fooled by false rumours.
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