Ebola has become the center of world attention because of the recent epidemic and becomes one of the deadly diseases. In 2014, WHO noted that there were at least 18,000 cases of this disease occurring in the West African region, with a mortality rate of 30 percent of all cases.
This disease is caused by a virus and can be fatal if not treated immediately. By knowing the prevention, we can reduce the death rate. Ebola was first discovered in 1976 in Sudan and Congo. Experts suspect that the virus has lived in the body of a fruit-eating bat then spreads to other animals. It infects humans through blood when they clean the blood of prey contaminated animals.
Ebola Causes ant How Ebola Spreads
Ebola is a deadly disease caused by the Ebola virus and spreads through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids such as urine, feces, saliva, and semen. You can infect soon if you directly touch the nose, eyes, mouth, or open wounds of the patient.
The groups of people who are at high risk are generally families who live in the same house and people who treat patients like medical personnel. The surrounding environment that is contaminated also risks transmitting this disease. For example are the used clothing, sheets, and needle syringes. Moreover, the virus can survive outside the body for several days including in the skin of patients.
Therefore, funeral traditions of the patient that require families or close friends to bathe bodies also have the potential to transmit the virus. Families and medical officers are advised to handle the bodies of the sufferers with maximum protection. The funeral process should be left to those who are trained and experienced in handling similar cases.
The incubation period (the time span between the entries of the virus into the body until the first symptoms appear) from this disease is around 2 to 21 days. Please keep in mind that the transmission of the Ebola virus only begins when symptoms appear. A number of initial symptoms ill attacks suddenly include:
- A headache
- Feel very weak
- Pain in muscles and joints
- A sore throat
After the initial symptoms appear, the further symptoms will appear which are:
- Stomach ache
- Impaired liver and kidney function
- Bleeding in the body that sometimes also comes out through the mouth, nose, eyes, or ears
The virus can spread quickly and is very deadly. So, avoid direct contact with the patient. If you suspect that your family member has infected the Ebola virus, see your doctor immediately for an examination.
After being positively diagnosed with this deadly disease, the patient will undergo intensive treatment at the hospital. The quick and precise medical treatment is the key to increasing the possibility of patient safety. Actually, there is no cure for eradicating the Ebola virus. But research continues to find effective vaccines and drugs to treat this disease.
The treatment aims only to support the patient’s immunity against the virus. Patients will generally receive fluids through an IV to prevent dehydration. During the body against this disease, the blood pressure, oxygen levels in the blood, and the function of the patient’s organs must be maintained to the maximum extent possible.
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The initial transmission of the virus is through direct contact with infected animals whose spread occurs directly in the patient. The following are a number of steps that we can take for the prevention, as well as limit the spread of the virus.
- Finding out information about the Ebola virus as much as possible
- If there are family members or people around you who might be infected, immediately take them to undergo examination and hospital treatment
- Avoid having sex with the sufferers without a safety (condoms)
- A number of studies have shown that this virus is still detected in male semen fluid even for months after the man was declared cured of this disease
- Always wash your hands with water and soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid direct contact with the patient’s skin, blood, and body fluids
- Do not touch objects around the patient such as clothes, or sheets
- The bodies of the sufferers must be treated with maximum protection by those who are trained and experienced in handling this type of case
- Avoid traveling to areas with high Ebola cases
- If you are in an area that is at risk of transmitting Ebola, avoid contact with animals that have the potential to transmit it such as fruit-eating bat and monkeys
- Wash, peel fruits, and vegetables before consumption
- Cooking meat and vegetable until thoroughly cooked before consumption
Especially for medical workers, there are several preventive measures that should be taken to minimize the risk of contracting Ebola.
- Be careful when handling blood, body fluids, catheters, and when installing a patient’s infusion
- Use maximum protection like by wearing a mask, gloves, protective clothing, and glasses
- Always wash your hands, especially after direct contact with the patient’s
- Avoid ritual cleansing without wearing the right protective equipment
- Dispose of the disposable medical equipment
- Isolating Ebola patients in a special room and limiting the number of visitors to a minimum