Ebola -- The Sleepy Devil rises again - Seeker's Thoughts

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Saturday, 22 September 2018

Ebola -- The Sleepy Devil rises again

Congo reports Ebola virus outbreak causes several deaths. The confirmed Ebola death highlights the challenges health workers are facing in region of north-eastern Congo that had never experienced the haemorrhagic fever before. There have been 116 confirmed cases, including 68 deaths, of Ebola in the outbreak that was declared on August, 1. And more than 10,000 people have been vaccinated. Ebola monitoring has been taking place at the border and Uganda is considered what WHO calls “very high risk
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What is Ebola virus?
Ebola virus disease (EVD), is a viral haemorrhagic fever, is a severe often fatal illness in human. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spread in the human population through human-to-human transmission. Fruit bats are natural host of this virus, and it spreads through contact with body fluids of infected persons such as blood, urine and salvia. It also spreads through sexual transmission. It is a zoonotic disease. 
It was first identified in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a village near the Ebola river, from which it takes its name.
In 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa was the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the virus first discovered in 1976. There were more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined. It also spread in countries, starting in Guinea then moving across land borders to sierra Leone and Liberia.
Symptoms: High fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage are the symptoms. The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. However, in past outbreaks case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90%
Treatment: There is yet no proven treatment available for EVD. However, a range of potential treatments including immune therapies, blood products and drug therapies are currently being evaluated. An experimental Ebola vaccine are rVSV-ZEBOV is proved to highly protective against the deadly virus in a major trial in Guinea conducted in 2015.

Later, World Health Organization has expressed confidence that a prototype vaccine for Ebola called rVSV-ZEBOV may be 100% effective in protecting against the deadly virus. The vaccine was initially developed in Canada by public health authorities before being taken over by pharmaceutical giant Merck.
How it can be prevented or controlled?
Raising awareness of risk factors for Ebola infection and protective measures (including vaccination) that individuals can take is an effective way to reduce human transmission. There can be several factors which can be helpful to control the infection.

1. Reducing the risk of wildlife- to – human transmission from contact with infected fruit bats or monkeys/apes and the consumption of their raw meat. Animal should be handled with gloves and mask and other appropriate protective clothing. Animal products like meat should be thoroughly cooked before consumption.
2. Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission from direct or close contact with people with Ebola symptoms, particularly with their bodily fluids.
3. Reducing the risk of possible sexual transmission based on further analysis of ongoing research and consideration by the WHO advisory group on the Ebola virus disease response. WHO recommends that make survivors of Ebola virus disease practice safe sax and hygiene for 12 months from onset of symptoms or until their semen tests negative twice for Ebola virus. Contact with body fluids should be avoided and washing with soap and water is recommended.

What are WHO concerns about Ebola virus?
WHO aims to prevent Ebola outbreak by maintain surveillance for Ebola virus disease and supporting rat -risk countries to developed preparedness plans. The document provides overall guidance for control of Ebola outbreaks.
When an outbreak is detected WHO responds by supporting surveillance, community engagement, case management, laboratory services, contact tracing, infection control, logical support and training and assistance with safe practices.

Conclusion 

Such viruses are severe and life threatening. There have been hundreds of deaths due to Ebola virus. WHO should take urgent measures to save people from such viruses. Spreading awareness would be a better way to curb death rates. Not just Ebola there are various types of dangerous viruses are spreading in the different parts of the world. government should be on high alert to fight such diseases and vaccination should be available in a pro-active manner.