Ebola Virus History
The first outbreak of ebola was reported in 1976. At that time it killed less than 100 people worldwide. However, since then there have been several outbreaks.
In 1988, a man named Patrick Sawyer flew from Liberia to Texas and infected four other people with ebola before dying. His case caused panic in the United States and Europe.
In 1995, another American, Thomas Eric Duncan, traveled from Monrovia to Dallas and died after contracting ebola. He infected two of his nurses, though they survived.
Other than these isolated cases, ebola continued to thrive in Africa. It is still the biggest killer of rural Africans.
The most recent ebola outbreak began in February 2014. It spread from Guinea to Sierra Leone and Liberia. By August, it was the worst outbreak in history.
More than 700 deaths were reported in just three months.
No vaccine exists for ebola.
Ebola Symptoms Pictures
Ebola is caused by an organism known as ebola virus. It attacks the immune system and causes a massive amount of bleeding inside and outside the body. It is extremely contagious when someone is showing symptoms.
However, it can also be spread by handling the bodily fluids of someone who died from ebola. It is common for people to contract ebola when burying their loved ones.
The initial ebola symptoms include:
flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, fever, muscle pain, and headache
shortness of breath
These initial symptoms can appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after the virus enters the body. Usually within a week, the virus makes its way into the blood and then causes people to hemorrhage both internally and externally. This is when ebola symptoms pictures are extremely recognizable.
The later ebola symptoms pictures include:
diarrhea with blood
bleeding from the eyes, ears, and gums
Many people die within a week after these symptoms appear. However, it is also possible to survive ebola if you receive the proper medical attention immediately.
Ebola is not airborne. It can only be spread through direct contact with an infected person’s blood or fluids. People with ebola should be handled by professionals wearing protective gear.
Ebola Virus Transmission
Ebola is a virus that affects multiple organ systems in the body. It attacks the immune system and causes massive bleeding from the inside out. It is extremely deadly and contagious when a person is showing symptoms.
Ebola causes infection when it enters the body of a non-infected person. It spreads through contact with:
organs (if donated or removed from infected person)
Ebola is not spread through the air. It is also not spread by mosquitoes or other insects.
The ebola virus can survive outside the body for over two hours. It can survive longer if it is in blood, urine, or feces.
Ebola is not a risk to everyone. It affects people differently, based on their genetics and other factors. It is not a risk to most people in developed countries.
However, it can be extremely dangerous for people with weak immune systems or certain types of cancer.
Ebola is most likely to spread in areas with poor health infrastructure. However, it can spread anywhere. The world experienced its largest ebola outbreak in 2014.
It spread to multiple countries in West Africa. It also affected people in Europe and North America after they returned from volunteering at the hospitals.
Only a few people were treated for ebola in the United States. One of them died.
How to Avoid Infection
The ebola virus can only be spread through direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person. You can also become infected by touching contaminated objects, such as clothes, bedding, or medical equipment.
You cannot get it through the air, food, or water.
If you are at a high risk of infection, avoid areas in Africa with active outbreaks of ebola. You should also avoid contact with people who have been to these areas within 21 days.
If you think you have been exposed to the ebola virus, contact your doctor immediately. You may be required to undergo a series of tests.
How It Spreads
An infected person can spread the virus through their body fluids as soon as they start showing symptoms of the virus. These can include:
blood in the urine or stools
hiccups, occurring when the virus attacks the diaphragm
These are all infectious fluids that can spread the virus.
The ebola virus spreads especially fast during the late stages of infection. It can also spread through contact with dead bodies or objects that have come into contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.
While its peak infectivity is in the later stages of the disease, the ebola virus can still spread during the early stages. You cannot be tested for the disease until after you develop symptoms.
This is why people who have been in contact with an infected person must monitor their temperature and notify health professionals if they have a fever.
You should also avoid contact with people who have been in areas with ongoing ebola outbreaks.
Ebola: After the Outbreak
Outbreaks of the ebola virus are scary. However, they can be contained through basic infection control measures. These include:
monitoring people who have been in contact with an infected person
testing people for ebola before entering the country, if they have recently visited affected areas
staying indoors when you are sick
washing your hands and covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough
sterilizing all equipment before use
These measures help to contain the spread of the disease while more people are infected.
Although the ebola virus can spread quickly, it is not a risk to most people in developed countries. Those with a strong immune system are at lower risk of infection than someone with a weak immune system.
You can protect yourself from becoming sick by avoiding the bodily fluids of someone who is infected. You should also avoid going to areas with ongoing outbreaks.
The virus has no cure. There are, however, experimental vaccines that may help prevent you from getting sick. These are most effective when injected within 24 hours of being exposed to the disease.
You should seek medical attention immediately if you have visited an area with an ongoing outbreak and start to feel achy and unwell.
This is the most effective way to protect yourself and others from the deadly ebola virus. You should remember that a small outbreak is easy to contain with the right infection control measures in place.
Spread the word and take care of your health.
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