The deadly Ebola virus is snatching headlines once again as the Democratic Republic of Congo faces its ninth outbreak since its discovery more than four decades ago. Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a disease with a high fatality rate that most commonly affects people and nonhuman primates such as monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees, according to the World Health Organization. The fever is caused by an infection with one of five known Ebola virus species: Four of the strains can cause severe illness in humans and animals.
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. The — outbreak in West Africa involved major urban areas as well as rural ones. Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks.
Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, infection prevention and control practices, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe and dignified burials and social mobilisation. Early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival.
There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralize the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development. Background The Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated.
The latter occurred in a village near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name. The — outbreak in West Africa was the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the virus was first discovered in There were more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined.
It also spread between countries, starting in Guinea then moving across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia. The virus family Filoviridae includes three genera: Cuevavirus, Marburgvirus, and Ebolavirus. Within the genus Ebolavirus, five species have been identified: The first three, Bundibugyo ebolavirus, Zaire ebolavirus, and Sudan ebolavirus have been associated with large outbreaks in Africa.
The virus causing the — West African outbreak belongs to the Zaire ebolavirus species. Transmission It is thought that fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.
Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials e.
Health-care workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or confirmed EVD. This has occurred through close contact with patients when infection control precautions are not strictly practiced.
Burial ceremonies that involve direct contact with the body of the deceased can also contribute in the transmission of Ebola. People remain infectious as long as their blood contains the virus.
Sexual transmission More surveillance data and research are needed on the risks of sexual transmission, and particularly on the prevalence of viable and transmissible virus in semen over time. In the interim, and based on present evidence, WHO recommends that: All Ebola survivors and their sexual partners should receive counselling to ensure safe sexual practices until their semen has twice tested negative.
Survivors should be provided with condoms. Male Ebola survivors should be offered semen testing at 3 months after onset of disease, and then, for those who test positive, every month thereafter until their semen tests negative for virus twice by RT-PCR, with an interval of one week between tests.
Ebola survivors and their sexual partners should either: Having tested negative, survivors can safely resume normal sexual practices without fear of Ebola virus transmission. Based on further analysis of ongoing research and consideration by the WHO Advisory Group on the Ebola Virus Disease Response, WHO recommends that male survivors of Ebola virus disease practice safe sex and hygiene for 12 months from onset of symptoms or until their semen tests negative twice for Ebola virus.
Until such time as their semen has twice tested negative for Ebola, survivors should practice good hand and personal hygiene by immediately and thoroughly washing with soap and water after any physical contact with semen, including after masturbation.
During this period used condoms should be handled safely, and safely disposed of, so as to prevent contact with seminal fluids. All survivors, their partners and families should be shown respect, dignity and compassion.
For more, read the Guidance on clinical care for survivors of Ebola virus disease Symptoms of Ebola virus disease The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days.
Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms. First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat.The first breakout that caused the Ebola virus to be recognized was in Zaire with people infected and killed.
There are five subtypes of the Ebola virus, but only four of them affect humans. There are the Ebola-Zaire, Ebola-Sudan, Ebola-Ivory Coast and the Ebola-Bundibugyo. Within days of the first reports that trickled out from Zaire, virus experts worldwide went on full crisis alert: Ebola had resurfaced and was killing again.
Apr 04, · Geisbert has been studying the Ebola virus since One of the five Ebola virus strains caused an outbreak in laboratory monkeys in Reston, VA, outside Washington, DC, in Ebola virus disease (EVD), also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) or simply Ebola, is a viral hemorrhagic fever of humans and other primates caused by ebolaviruses.
Signs and symptoms typically start between two days and three weeks after contracting the virus with a fever, sore throat, muscular pain, and headaches. . In a outbreak of Ebola-Bundibugyo virus in Uganda, 25 percent of those who got infected died, while in several outbreaks in Zaire/Democratic Republic of the Congo and nearby Gabon, the.
Within the genus Ebolavirus, five species have been identified: Zaire, Bundibugyo, Sudan, Reston and Taï Forest. The first three, Bundibugyo ebolavirus, Zaire ebolavirus, and Sudan ebolavirus have been associated with large outbreaks in Africa.