What Is Ebola?

Ebola is a serious and deadly virus transmitted by animals and humans. It was initially detected in 1976 in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Researchers named the disease after the Ebola River. Until recently, Ebola appeared in Africa only. The Ebola virus belongs to the viral family Filoviridae. Scientists also call it Filovirus. These virus types cause hemorrhagic fever or profuse bleeding inside and outside the body. It’s accompanied by a very high fever.

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What Causes Ebola?

The Ebola virus likely originated in African fruit bats. The virus is known as a zoonotic virus because it’s transmitted to humans from animals. Humans can also transfer the virus to each other. The following animals can transmit the virus.

Chimpanzees.
Forest antelopes.
Gorillas.
Monkeys.
Porcupines.

Risk Factors and Transmission.

Unlike other types of viruses, Ebola can’t be transmitted through the air or by touch alone. You must have direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has it. The virus may be transmitted through.

Blood.
Diarrhea.
Breast milk.
Feces.
Saliva.
Semen.
Sweat.
Urine.
Vomit.

What Are the Symptoms of Ebola?

Extreme fatigue is often the first and most prominent symptom. Other symptoms include.

Diarrhea.
Fever.
Headache.
Muscle pain.
Stomach pain.
Unexplained bleeding or bruising.
Vomiting.

How Is Ebola Treated?

The Ebola virus does not have a cure or vaccine at this time. Instead, measures are taken to keep the person as comfortable as possible. Supportive care measures may include.

Giving medications to maintain blood pressure.
Managing electrolyte balances.
Providing extra oxygen, if needed.
Providing intravenous and/or oral fluids to prevent dehydration.
Treating coexisting infections.
Preventing other infections from occurring.
Administering blood products if indicated.

Prevention.

Individuals can take several precautions to protect against Ebola. These steps include:

Avoiding contact with blood and body fluids.
Practicing careful hand hygiene, including washing hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Refraining from engaging in burial rituals that involve handling the body of a person who died from Ebola.
Wearing protective clothing around wildlife.
Refraining from handling items a person with Ebola has handled (this includes clothing, bedding, needles, or medical equipment).

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Disclaimer: The information shared on Health Tips channel is provided for general and educational purposes and does not contain any FDA approved content. The information provided on this channel is not substitute against a diagnosis and treatment by your health professional. Always seek the advice of your doctor if you have or suspect any medical problem.

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