What is Ebola Virus?

Understanding Symptoms of Ebola Virus

What is Ebola Virus

Symptoms of Ebola Virus


Ebola is an acute viral infectious disease that causes hemorrhagic fever in humans and primates (monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees) caused by the Ebola virus, which was first described in 1976 by ​​Dr. David Finkes when presented several cases of haemorrhagic fever in Zaire and Sudan. The name of the virus is link to the Ebola River in Zaire because of the geographical location of where the infection started. The Ebola virus is one of the two members of a family of virus RNA (ribonucleic acid) called Filoviridae. There are five serotypes of Ebola virus: Ebola-Zaire, Ebola-Sudan, Ebola-Ivory Coast and Ebola-Bundibugyo. The fifth serotype, Ebola-Reston, has caused disease in primates, but not humans. It is an infection that is characterized by a high mortality rate, ranging between 50% and 95% of those affected. Because the lethal nature, this virus is considered as a biological weapon. The prevalence of Ebola is difficult to determine, because usually occurs in outbreaks or epidemics, however, in countries like America infection with this virus is not endemic, although records of several people working in direct contact with primates exist and they have acquired the infection by Ebola-Reston type; Fortunately, this virus has not demonstrated pathogenic effects in humans. Other people who are potentially at risk are laboratory workers who worked with infected animals or tissue culture virus.

Currently, it is considered that people at risk for hemorrhagic fever Ebola virus are

those with a history of travel to sub-Saharan Africa, people who have cared for

infected patients and workers who are in contact with infected primates.

Chronology of current outbreak of Ebola in Africa

Countries like Sudan and Zaire have reported outbreaks in 1976, with 284 cases and 151 deaths, 280 deaths and 318 cases respectively, England recorded only one case during that timeframe with no deaths reported.In 1979 a new outbreak occurred in Sudan with another 34 cases and 22 deaths were reported. By 1990s cases in the Philippines (3), Virginia and Texas (4), also presented during the years 1994 to 2000. Gabon recorded the highest number of cases, with 350 infected and 280 deaths. In 2007, Uganda recorded a new outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever virus infected and 437 and 149 deaths ocurred. This same country declared in early October 2012 that the outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever has claimed the lives of 17 people, according to WHO data. In March 2014 the last recorded outbreak in Guinea Conakry, where the number of affected reached the thousand and has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, and Nigeria and to a lesser extent. Today (August 2014), WHO has recognized that the virus is out of control, mainly due to the ease and speed that has to spread, so they are doing everything possible to regional and international level to try to prevent to expansion to other borders. Also, another safety measure adopted has been the discourage of travel except in cases of extreme necessity to areas of West Africa which are the hardest hit by the outbreak. The affected number of people already exceed 7,500 and 3,500 dead are reported. The vast majority of reported infections have taken place in Liberia.

Ebola in Spreading Outside of Africa (Spain, USA)

In the last days of September, it was first detected in the USA infected by Ebola patient, who traveled to Dallas (Texas) after being infected in Liberia and was able to travel through airplane . On October 6, a nurse who had treated in Madrid two Spaniord missionaries who have been infected with ebola and later died has become the first person diagnosed Ebola outside Africa. How is Ebola virus spread ?  The Ebola virus is considered highly dangerous, due to its high mortality rate, the speed at which it kills and the remote areas where infections occur. It is transmitted to humans through contact with an infected animal who carries the virus host weather the animal or human being is alive or dead (monkeys, bats, antelopes ...) and spreads from person to person by contact with the blood, tissues, secretions and body fluids of the infected person, and by contact with contaminated medical equipment such as needles. Infections with the Ebola virus are acute and there is no state of 'carrier'. Because the natural reservoir of the virus is unknown, the manner in which the virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak has not been determined yet. Nosocomial transmission refers to the spread of a disease within a hospital, this type of transmission occurs frequently during outbreaks of Ebola virus. In most health centers in Africa, patients are seen without a mask, gown, or gloves. In addition, when needles or syringes used may not be of the disposable type, if contaminated with the virus and then reused, many people may be infected. In fact, if the death of the affected by the virus occurs, the protocol indicates that it can not perform the autopsy by the high risk of contagion by the fluids of the victim, so it must be incinerated.
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