Thursday, November 19, 2015

EBOLA: what you need to know and how to protect yourself


Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is a severe and sometimes-fatal disease in humans and primates, the precise origin of which remains unknown. Most researchers believe the disease is zoonotic, meaning "animal-borne." Named after the Ebola river in the Democratic Republic of Congo where the disease was first recognized, the disease has been confirmed in Gabon, Sudan, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast, and Uganda, since its discovery in 1976. You can learn to avoid the infection, protect yourself from its effects, and what steps to take in the event you become infected


Transmission


Ebola spreads among humans through contaminated blood or through the transfer of organs from a person holding or dealing with infected animals by the disease. The virus reached Africa's population by monkeys and fruit bats,then it reached the rest of the world through friction between humans through blood transfusion and transplantation. Even the person who recoveres from the disease can transmit it if the elapsed period of his recovering was less than 7 weeks



The symptoms

The more you know about recognizing the symptoms of infection, the better protected you'll be. While the symptoms of infection are somewhat general, you can use your judgment to determine whether or not your proximity to the infection and the symptoms you note might signify the presence of the disease. 
Symptoms have appeared anywhere from 48 hours following exposure to three weeks after exposure, though most symptoms should appear in about a week.
Common symptoms of the disease include:
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Lack of appetite
  • Less common symptoms include:
  • Rash
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Hiccups
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Bleeding inside and outside of the bodytreatment



Prevention


  • Practice careful hygiene. 
  • Avoid contact with blood and body fluids.
  • Avoid contact with animals and raw meat.
  • Avoid hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated.
  • Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola
  • prevent further transmission in healthcare setting by using locally available materials and minimal financial resources
  • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.



Treatment


Currently, there has been no vaccine successfully tested on humans, though scientists are racing around the clock to pioneer a cure for this disease.
Most of the treatment available involves addressing the specific symptoms and making the patient comfortable. One of the most uncomfortable symptoms of the disease is severe diarrhea and nausea, making it important that the patient stay hydrated and keep his electrolytes up.
Also it's important to keep blood pressure under control and give the patient anticoagulants and some anti-fungal.

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