Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a severe, often fatal illness; with a case fatality rate of up to 90%. It is one of the world’s most virulent diseases. The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people. Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care.
Important Facts about Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
- Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
- EVD outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%.
- EVD outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
- The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
- Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus.
- Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. No licensed specific treatment or vaccine is available for use in people or animals.
Transmission of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals. Ebola then spreads in the community through human-to-human transmission, with infection resulting from direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and indirect contact with environments contaminated with such fluids. Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness. Health-care workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or confirmed EVD. Signs and Symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) EVD is often characterized by the
- Sudden onset of fever
- intense weakness
- muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Impaired kidney and liver function
- In some cases, both internal and external bleeding
Laboratory findings include
- Low white blood cell and platelet counts
- Elevated liver enzymes.
The incubation period (the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms) is 2 to 21 days. Diagnosis of EBOLA Virus Disease (EVD) Samples from patients are an extreme biohazard risk; testing should be conducted under maximum biological containment conditions. Ebola virus infections can be diagnosed in a laboratory through several types of tests:
- Antibody-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
- Antigen detection tests
- Serum neutralization test
- Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay
- Electron microscopy
- Virus isolation by cell culture.
Treatment of EBOLA Virus Disease (EVD) No specific treatment is available. No licensed vaccine for EVD is available. Several vaccines are being tested, but none are available for clinical use. Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. Patients are frequently dehydrated and require oral rehydration with solutions containing electrolytes or intravenous fluids. Prevention of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Avoid contact with Ebola patients and their bodily fluids; do not touch anything such as shared towels, which could have become contaminated in a public place. Careers should wear gloves and protective equipment, such as masks, and wash their hands regularly. Barrier nursing techniques include:-
- Wearing of protective clothing (such as masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles)
- The use of infection-control measures (such as complete equipment sterilization and routine use of disinfectant)
- Isolation of Ebola patients from contact with unprotected persons.
The aim of all of these techniques is to avoid contact with the blood or secretions of an infected patient. If a patient with Ebola dies, it is equally important that direct contact with the body of the deceased patient be prevented.