Ebola – a serious problem or is it overblown?

Ebola is a serious medical condition that is the result of the Ebola Virus (EBV). It is part of a family of viruses known as ebolavirus. It causes bleeding both internally (inside the body) and externally. It can also be classified as a virus that causes Hemorrhagic Fever.

One of the many causes for concern, is that this condition has a very high death rate – also known as mortality rate.

Symptoms begin as soon as a few days, but they can start almost three weeks after contracting the virus.

The Primary or Initial Symptoms include:

–  Fever
–  Sore throat
–  Headaches
–  Muscle aches
–  Fatigue
–  Abdominal pain
–  Nausea
–  Vomiting
–  Diarrhea

Unfortunately, these set of symptoms could describe many conditions and several other virus including the Influenza Virus, gastrointestinal viruses, and more.  Rash is seen in about 50% of the cases.

Progression of Ebola Infection

As the symptoms progress – decreased functioning of the Kidneys and Liver are seen. Bleeding or Hemorrhaging starts around this time. Bleeding can occur from the mouth, nose, Stomach, Vagina, gums.  Bloody eyes and bloody vomit can be seen.

Transmission occurs initially through animals that are infected such as: fruit bats or monkeys and even pigs.  Human transmission occurs when a human comes into contact with the Blood of these animals.

Once human infection occurs, the disease spreads through contact of blood or body fluids. It is believed that male survivors may be able to transmit the disease via semen for up to two months post infection.

Transmission can occur even after death and from medical instruments that were involved in the treatment of someone with this condition. Airborne transmission has not been seen and is not believed to be a manner of transmission.

Prevention and Treatment are key

Avoid blood and body fluids of those suspected to have come into contact with the Ebola Virus. Properly cooking meat and wearing protective clothing when handling meat.

Treatment is mostly for the symptoms – therefore treat dehydration, fever, and other symptoms as soon as possible.

There are two medications that are being tested in the United States. This is considered a medically approved circumstance and the use of these medications despite not being approved by the FDA.  The two drugs are ZMapp and TKM-Ebola.

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