The date i.e. 3 APRIL 2014 – World Health Organisation [WHO] is favoring the national authorities in the result to an out of control situation of Ebola virus disease (EVD; previously known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever). This outbreak is now finalized to be caused by a strain of ebola virus with micro homology (98%) to the Zaire ebolavirus. This is the first attempt of this disease and has been found in West Africa and surrounding places.
The first Case was reported in the forested regions in south-east Guinea. The outbreak has very fast figured and many local districts places as well as Conakry have reported diagnose and deaths due to this deadly EVD. A little figure on suspicious cases about deaths has also been announced from near countries with all of them having easy access from Guinea. Too many cases have already been reported from Guinea & Liberia.
Latest updates on doubtful and finalized cases & deaths
As per WHO, Ebola virus is 1 of 3 members of the Filoviridae family (filovirus), along with genus Marburgvirus and genus Cuevavirus. Genus Ebolavirus comprises 5 different species: Bundibugyo ebolavirus (BDBV); Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV); Reston ebolavirus (RESTV); Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV); and Taï Forest ebolavirus (TAFV). BDBV, EBOV, & SUDV have been correlated with large EVD outbreaks in African areas, whereas RESTV and TAFV have not in that scale. Blood, and other relevant pathological sample opted from patients in this outbreak have tested positive for EBOV.
Infection and disease transmission
In Africa, fruit bats are considered to be the actual and natural source of Ebola virus. The virus is transferred from wildlife to people through association and touching with infected fruit bats, or through mediatory source, like monkeys, apes, or pigs [Pigs already known host for Swine flu] that have themselves become infected through contact with bat saliva.
People might be then became infected through contact with infected animals as we mentioned above, may be either in the process of slaughtering or through consumption of blood, milk, or raw or undercooked meat that has this deadly virus already etc.
The virus is then transmitted from person to person through straight contact with the blood, saliva secretions or other bodily i.e. physical fluids of infected persons, or from contact with contaminated needles [This is also a possible reason as we’ve seen in AIDS] or other instrument in the environment.
Signs and symptoms
EVD has a fatality rate up to 90%, is a danger acute viral illness [That has no known vaccine or treatment yet] often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache, nausea & sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea [Doctors supply fluids and keep body hydrated], kidney and liver dysfunction, and in some critical cases, both internal and external bleeding due to cell destroying. Pathological or Laboratory findings intense include low white blood cell [WBC] & platelet counts [Those are power house in fighting with an infection] and elevated liver enzymes.
The period, the time interval from infection with the virus to rise of symptoms, is 2 to 21 days. Obviously people remain infectious as long as their blood and secretions has virus, a period that has been reported to be as long as 61 days after onset of illness[So a patient needs complete isolation during this period due to avoid its further transmission].
Identifying and treatment of EVD
Considering the findings of EVD, other, more common diseases should not be taken for granted; for example all viral infection and disease like shigellosis, cholera, leptospirosis, plague, malaria, typhoid fever, rickettsiosis, relapsing fever, meningitis, hepatitis and other viral haemorrhagic fevers.
Definitive diagnosis of EVD is done through pathological lab testing. Because samples from patients are a source of infection risk for others, testing is done under maximum biological isolation and in containment conditions so that no other can be its victim by some known mistakes.
There is no vaccine available, nor there any specific known treatment for this calamity. Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care as they lose the physical strength as time passed and it becomes more critical. Patients are frequently dehydrated and require oral rehydration [via increasing water or fluid intake] with solutions containing electrolytes, or intravenous fluids.
Precaution is always better than cure and raising awareness of the risk factors associated for an infection and the protective measures that should be taken is the only known way to reduce human infection and subsequent casualties. Close unprotected physical contact with Ebola infected should be strictly avoided. Fine use of gloves and personal protective equipment PPE (including hand hygiene before and after taking off PPE) should be practised when taking care of infected patients at home or elsewhere. Regular hand washing or sanitation is required after visiting patients in hospital, as well as after taking care of patients elsewhere.
All spreading of the virus to care taker health workers has been reported when common infection control measures have not been measured. Caretakers or health workers caring for any infected should practice standard precautions. When caring for patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola infection, health-care workers should apply standard precautions or should avoid any exposure to patients’ bodily fluids and with possibly contaminated environments.