What is the Ebola virus?
Ebola virus is rare but at the same time, very dangerous too. It is not a contractable kind of virus as other viruses are like that of cold or flu. When it enters the body, it starts to vitiate the immune system and other vital organs too. The disease associated with this virus called Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF). This disease commonly affects human beings as well as some non-human primates like monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas. The virus induces bleeding, both internally and externally, in the body.
People can get this virus through direct contact with the infected ones. Ebola virus can spread fastly in hospitals and clinics through needles(if used with the infected body fluids), and from other objects. Interestingly, the Ebola virus is not spread through the air, water, or food as other viruses.
History of Ebola Virus Disease:
In 1976, the first-ever species of Ebola virus was discovered at Zaire (now the cratic Republic of the Congo) near the Ebola river and thereby received its name “Ebola.” The first outbreak infected over 400 people and died more than 50% of them due to this dreaded virus. The second outbreak occurred in Sudan, where almost 30% of the people died infected with the Ebola Virus Disease.
In March 2014, the worst outbreak in the history of Ebola virus disease had reported in West Africa where thousands of people affected by this disease, and almost 50% of them died. The counting of outbreaks remains increasing.
The natural habitat of the Ebola virus is unknown; however, some of the researchers believe that the virus is animal-borne and marked the bats as the most likely reservoir of the Ebola virus. Five species of Ebola virus are key out and out of five starting four caused disease in human beings:
- Zaire ebolavirus
- Sudan ebolavirus
- Bundibugyo ebolavirus
- Tai Forest ebolavirus
- Reston ebolavirus (humans are not affected).
The average incubation period of the Ebola Virus Disease is 8 to 10 days. Although, the starting symptoms resembling that of flu as the disease becomes more progressive, the symptoms also become worse. The symptoms or signs include:
- Fever (usually higher than 38° C)
- Soreness of throat
- Abdominal pain
- Chest pain
- Loss of appetite
Some affected people also develop:
- Red eyes
- Difficulty in breathing
- Skin rash
This disease can be prevented by:
- avoiding contact with the infected person
- avoid contacts with wild animals like bats and monkeys
- stay away from the areas where the virus is most common
- avoid direct contact with the dead bodies of patients who died due to the virus
- proper cleaning and disposal of syringes and needles.