By Doyin Ojosipe
Ebola virus infection is world’s deadliest epidemic as it kills about 90% of its victims within the shortest time of infection; it has also been named the biggest and most complex outbreak in history, according to the Director, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden
Though a fearful ailment, an experimental vaccine called Zmapp has been discovered by biotech Research Company based in San Diego, CNN has reported, and said to yield positively
The deadly virus infects the liver, destroys the lining of the blood vessels, stops blood from clothing, causes blood loss, it could be contracted through blood, saliva, urine and other secretions of infected persons.
According to deputy director, CDC, National Center for Zoonotic and Infectious Disease, Stephan Monroe, “the ebola virus spreads through direct contact with the blood, secretions, or other body fluids of ill people and indirect contact… for example, with needles and other things that may be contaminated with these fluids.”
As part of the red alert put in Place, the general public have been enjoined to look out for the following symptoms and contact the appropriate quotas for quick response.
It has been noted that, the incubation period, could last for about 1 week (rarely up to 2 weeks) after infection, symptoms include:
Backache (low-back pain)
While late symptoms include:
Bleeding from eyes, ears, and nose
Bleeding from the mouth and rectum (gastrointestinal bleeding)
Eye swelling (conjunctivitis)
Genital swelling (labia and scrotum)
Increased feeling of pain in the skin
Rash over the entire body that often contains blood (hemorrhagic)
Roof of mouth looks red
There may also be signs and symptoms of:
Disseminated intravascular coagulation
As the disease gets worse, people who are infected may develop:
Bleeding inside and outside of the body
Preventive measures to be taken
The disease is mostly contracted from infected animals, while it is passed through body fluids from one infected human to another. It is however of use to reduce or and eliminate contacts with animals, especially wild animals.
Avoid contact with forest antelopes, porcupines, and fruit bats, and do not handle live or dead wild animals such as primates too.
The corpse of an Ebola victim is also highly infectious and should be handled with care, even as the world given standard to discard such bodies is to cremate in order to completely eliminate the virus.
Good personal hygiene and sanitation is also one preventive measure to be taken; wash hands as often as possible, conveniently, with warm water and soap and use hand sanitizers especially when out of reach for water.
Facts about the Ebola:
Ebola virus infection is a human disease, contracted through fluids from infected animals; whether dead or alive.
The virus is of five types namely:
Ebola Zaire, Ebola Sudan, Ebola Ivory Coast, Ebola Bundibugyo and Ebola Reston; of all the viruses, only Ebola Reston is not found in Africa, while its tendency to be completely harmful has not been disclosed as it is only known to affect animals alone.
Its first outbreak was in 1976 at the Republic of Congo, in central Africa and also in south Sudan. It was named after the Ebola River where the virus was first noticed.
The MSF says while the virus is believed to be able to survive for some days in liquid outside an infected organism, it is fragile and chlorine disinfection, heat, direct sunlight, soaps and detergents can kill it.
However, there seem to be hope as the United States plans to send 50 health experts to the West African region to help contain the disease even as an experimental vaccine has been produced to possibly fight the infection.
Experts have also urged that people need not fear as it is containable; they said it is an incredibly fragile virus and does not infect through the air, not through cough nor sneeze and does not infect easily like the normal cold.