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What is Ebola virus? /Symptoms, causes, treatment of Ebola

What is Ebola virus? /Symptoms, causes, treatment of Ebola

Ebola virus is a deadly virus which causes Ebola virus disease or Ebola in human. It can cause in death in 90% of the infected people. When a person gets infected with this virus, there is high fever, body aches and diarrhea. Sometimes, the blood can come from inside and outside the body. 

The virus affects the immunity of the person. The organs are also damaged by the virus.

The virus is spread by the contact with the body fluid (sweat, tear, saliva, etc.), blood and skin of the infected people or animals. So, the person who takes care of the infected person can also get infected. A person can also get infected by touching the contaminated instruments (e.g. needle, blade, etc.) and surfaces. The air, water, food or insects (e.g. mosquito) do not spread Ebola. The virus is also spread through sexual contact.

Symptoms of Ebola

The symptoms of Ebola look similar to that of flu or malaria. The symptoms are seen 2 to 21 days after getting the virus. Most of the people show symptoms 8-10 days after infection. The symptoms include:

  • High fever and Headache
  • Joint and muscle ache
  • Weakness
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Lack of appetite

When the disease is severe, there is bleeding inside and outside the body. The blood comes from eyes, ears and nose. Sometimes, there is also blood in vomit, cough or diarrheal stool.

The white blood cells and platelets are lower in number in a blood test. There is an increase in the value of liver enzymes.

Prevention of Ebola

Since there is no cure for Ebola and the success of treatment is also low, prevention from getting the disease is very important. The vaccine is also not available for prevention at present. But Ebola can be prevented by applying the following measures:

  • Avoiding travelling to the Ebola affected region
  • Isolating the infected person
  • Avoiding contact with the infected person and animal
  • Avoiding contact with the blood and body fluid (sweat, tear, saliva, etc.) of the infected person
  • Avoiding contact with contaminated items (cloths, bedding, instruments, etc.)
  • Wearing protective clothing (gloves, mask, goggles, etc.) while caring the infected person
  • Sterilizing the instruments in the hospitals and using disinfectant
  • Avoid touching the person who has died from Ebola during funeral or burial ceremony

Anyone returning from Ebola affected region should observe the health for 21 days. If there is any symptom of Ebola, it should be immediately reported to the hospital.

Treatment of Ebola

There is not any cure for Ebola at present. However, the symptoms of Ebola are treated or managed by the following ways:

  • Providing fluid and electrolyte to the patients
  • Maintaining oxygen level by providing oxygen
  • Maintaining blood pressure by providing medicines
  • Treating for other infections

The treatment should start as soon as a person shows symptoms. The early treatment increases the chance of survival. When a person gets good treatment and has good immunity, the chance of recovery from the disease is higher.


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