The Truth About Ebola
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By: Allie Fey 9/15/2014

 

 

We've all heard about Ebola; it’s been on the news, in the paper, and many other places. Do we even know what Ebola actually is? Of course Ebola has had many outbreaks in Africa and has killed many people, but Ebola is often underestimated.  People don't know the history, symptoms, ways Ebola is transmitted, or even how to treat the disease.

Ebola was first recognized in the year 1976 in Zaire near the Ebola River; for which it got its name. Of the 318 patients diagnosed with Ebola at that time, 88% died. 5 strains of the Ebola virus have been identified; 4 of which are responsible for the high death rates. The 5 strains are named as follows: Zaire, Sudan, Tai Forest, Budibungo, and the less intense Reston strain. The Reston strain is found in the Philippines. It
infects primates, pigs, and humans; however, it is not responsible for human deaths; only symptoms. The other 4 more lethal strains have occurred in Africa; mainly in small- or medium- sized towns. About 122 infected people were diagnosed with Ebola in its recent outbreak and 78 have died as of April 1, 2014.

allie 2Ebola has many symptoms. Some of the early symptoms are symptoms you don't even think about. Early symptoms of Ebola include: fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, decreased appetite, joint and muscle discomfort, and stomach discomfort. These are normal day-to-day things.
People could mistake such things as having food poisoning or something as simple as a cold. As the infection worsens, patients may experience more symptoms. Such symptoms include: eye redness, a rash, cough, chest pains, sore throat, hiccups,
internal bleeding, external bleeding, and difficulty breathing and swallowing.

The tricky thing about Ebola is that you don't start seeing symptoms until about 2-21 days after you get the virus. By that point you've already given the virus to someone else.  The Ebola virus can be spread by direct contact of an infected person or his or her body or body fluids such as blood or secretions. The spread of Ebola is worse in hospitals because doctors and nurses care for the infected and become infected themselves.
There really isn't a cure for Ebola. Early clinical diagnosis is difficult as the symptoms are nonspecific; however, if the patient is suspected to have Ebola, the patient needs to be isolated and local and state health departments need to be immediately contacted. The only option people have is to be on a supportive care system. The supportive care system often consist of: oxygen and devices that help with breathing, antibiotics to prevent secondary infections from bacteria, medications to control fever, help the blood clot, and maintain blood pressure,IVs to maintain fluids and electrolytes, and Good nursing care

Once an Ebola outbreak begins, the effects of the virus can be devastating.
There is no Ebola cure, and once a person develops an infection, the chance of death can be as high as 90 percent. Because there is no vaccine at this time, Ebola prevention focuses on avoiding direct contact with body fluids of those infected with the virus, as well as avoiding direct contact with the body of someone who has died from the virus. It is important for people to know the history, symptoms, transmission, and hopefully cure for Ebola so that they can prevent themselves from getting the infection.

 

 

 

Bibliography http://www.medicinenet.com/ebola_hemorrhagic_fever_ebola_hf/article.htm#ebola_he morrhagic_fever_ebola_virus_disease_facts

http://www.nationofchange.org/underestimated-and-ignored-growing-ebola-epidemic- requires-unprecedented-global-mobilization-1410880

http://ebola.emedtv.com/ebola/spread-of-ebola.html