Ebola: Deadliest of Diseases

Ebola: What You Need to Know about the Deadliest of Diseases


Ebola is one of the most deadly diseases known to mankind. It is a virus that has caused devastating outbreaks around the world, and has claimed thousands of lives. With the recent outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it’s important to understand the basics of Ebola, how it is transmitted, and what can be done to protect yourself from it. In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of Ebola and what you need to know about this deadly disease.

What is Ebola?

Ebola is a virus, belonging to the Filoviridae family, that is one of the most deadly and contagious diseases known to man. It first appeared in 1976, when two outbreaks occurred simultaneously in Sudan and what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. The virus is spread through contact with an infected animal or person, typically through their blood, saliva, or other bodily fluids.
When it comes to humans, the Ebola virus causes severe symptoms such as fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and stomach pain. In some cases, it can even lead to internal and external bleeding. If left untreated, the disease can progress quickly and can be fatal in up to 90% of cases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has labelled Ebola as a “public health emergency of international concern” due to its high fatality rate and potential to spread. There have been numerous attempts to find a vaccine, but unfortunately, no effective vaccine currently exists.

The Early Symptoms of Ebola

The early symptoms of Ebola are similar to many other illnesses and can be easily confused with influenza or malaria. These symptoms usually appear 2-21 days after infection and may include:
• Muscle pain
• Sore throat
• Abdominal (stomach) pain
• Unexplained bleeding or bruising
In some cases, more severe symptoms can occur, such as rash, red eyes, hiccups, chest pain, and difficulty breathing and swallowing. It is important to note that these symptoms can be mild at first, and may even seem to go away. However, if left untreated, the virus will become increasingly severe. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention if any of these symptoms appear.

How is Ebola Spread?

Ebola is primarily spread through direct contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids. These fluids include saliva, sweat, vomit, faeces, urine, breast milk, and semen. It can also be spread through contact with contaminated objects or surfaces, such as clothing, bedding, and medical equipment.
People can become infected with Ebola if they come into contact with the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from the disease. This includes contact with objects, such as needles, that have been contaminated with the virus.
It is also possible for people to become infected by handling wild animals that are infected or have died from Ebola. The risk of infection increases when dealing with an animal that is sick or found dead in an area where there have been cases of Ebola.
It is important to note that the Ebola virus is not airborne. In other words, it cannot be spread through the air like the flu virus. Therefore, it is unlikely that a person could become infected simply by being in the same room as someone who is sick with Ebola.

Who is Most at Risk for Contracting Ebola?

When it comes to contracting Ebola, certain groups are more at risk than others. Those with a weakened immune system, the elderly, and young children are more likely to suffer from severe symptoms and complications from the virus. Healthcare workers and those who have come into contact with infected individuals are also at higher risk of contracting the virus.
Healthcare workers are particularly vulnerable, as they are often in close contact with infected individuals and may lack proper protective equipment. In addition, those living in rural areas of Africa with limited access to healthcare services may be more susceptible to contracting Ebola due to a lack of awareness or resources to prevent the spread of the disease.
In general, anyone who is in close contact with an individual infected with Ebola, either through contact with their bodily fluids or objects that have been contaminated by them, is at risk for contracting the virus. The virus can also be spread through infected animals, particularly fruit bats, monkeys, and apes. Therefore, hunters and people living near animal habitats should take extra precautions.
Overall, the best way to protect yourself from contracting Ebola is to practice good hygiene and keep up-to-date with information about the virus. Avoid contact with those who may have been exposed to the virus, wash your hands frequently, and wear protective clothing when dealing with any potential risks.

Treatment and Prevention of Ebola

Treatment for Ebola is mainly supportive and includes the following:
1. Replenishing lost fluids with oral rehydration solution or intravenous fluids
2. Balancing electrolytes
3. Maintaining oxygen status and blood pressure
4. Treating other infections if they occur

There is no approved cure for Ebola, however, there are experimental treatments that have been used to treat Ebola in recent outbreaks. These treatments include blood transfusions from recovered patients, antibodies from survivors of the disease, and drugs that inhibit the virus.
When it comes to preventing the spread of Ebola, early recognition is key. Healthcare workers and individuals should be aware of the signs and symptoms of the virus and seek medical attention immediately if they experience any of these symptoms. In areas where Ebola is common, individuals should practice good hygiene and avoid contact with people who are exhibiting signs of the virus.
In addition, healthcare workers should use protective clothing such as gloves, masks, and goggles when caring for infected patients and always practice strict infection control measures such as hand washing and disinfection.
Finally, a vaccine has been developed for the prevention of Ebola in recent years and is highly effective in clinical trials. While the vaccine has not yet been widely distributed, it is expected that it will be available shortly.
The Bottom Line: Ebola is a serious and often deadly disease that can spread quickly without proper care and attention. It is important to recognize the symptoms early, practice good hygiene and infection control measures, and seek medical attention immediately if any symptoms are experienced. A vaccine has also been developed to help prevent the spread of Ebola, which may soon be available to the public.

The Bottom Line

The Ebola virus is one of the most deadly and devastating diseases in the world. It has caused many deaths, especially in developing countries, and it continues to be a major threat to global health. Though there have been advances in treatment and prevention, the virus still presents a major health risk. It is important to understand the early symptoms, how it is spread, and who is most at risk for contracting the virus to take the necessary precautions. If you believe that you or someone else may have been exposed to Ebola, contact your doctor immediately and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Knowing the facts about Ebola can help to protect yourself, your loved ones, and the global population from this deadly disease.