Ebola Virus disease (E.V.D) formerly known as Ebola Hemorrhagic fever is a severe often fatal illness. First Ebola outbreak occurred in 1976 in central Africa near tropical rain-forests but most recent occurrence is seen in Six countries namely- Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, The US , and Mali, it being the largest and longest outbreak with more than 15,000 cases and death-count a mind-boggling approx. 6000. You can read more facts and figures from the W.H.O website here. You can read more about its causes, symptoms, and other relevant information here.
Ebola is a serious infection Viral Hemorrhagic(bursting of blood vessels is called Hemorrhage) Fever(V.H.F) condition found in animals mostly Primates including humans, which is caused by the virus of Filoviridae genus Ebolavirus which has 6 famous types with ‘Zaire Ebola’ the most famous. It can multiply at very high rate and is Contagious with the Contagion travelling through direct contact and exchange of bodily fluids. Currently, it is not air and water-borne but several nuisances of virus developing over time is seen so risk can’t be taken to ignore it. You can see more finer details on the Wikipedia page here.
According to the circular by W.H.O(World Health Organisation) the initial symptoms of Ebola are same as almost all viral infections like common cold which include-
- Severe weakness,
- Muscle Pain,
- Sore Throat etc.
But within 8-12 days conditions become much more acute consisting of-
- Vomiting(Black in color),
- Poor liver function,
- Impaired Kidney,
- Internal and External bleeding, Low White blood cells and platelet count finally leading to Death.
According to W.H.O Ebola can be controlled by community engagement by applying a package of interventions, namely Case management, Surveillance and Contact Tracing, good laboratory service, safe burial and Mobilization.
- Animals mostly primates, bats and swines are carrier of Ebola Contagion so in an Ebola infested region and generally try to prevent direct contact with the animal.
- The symptoms in these animal include loss of appetite, fever and sudden death, if seen in your pets quarantine them immediately.
- wear protective clothing and gear if you are visiting a patient
No Vaccines have yet been developed, but some are in the pipeline not yet ready for medical purposes. Cures as well have not been found with treatment consisting of ‘Support therapy’ given to the likes of the same given in HIV patients which include (and not limiting to) – maintaining fluids, electrolytes, Oxygen levels, and Blood pressure, Heart-beat and the other vitals, Treatment of pain-relief and medications for other infections.
Ebola in India, Are we Ready?
Ebola is an international emergency hence every country needs to revise their medical interventions including India, the reason? About 45,000 Indians living and working in the affected African countries and every chance is that a visitor brings it home. like in November, 2014 a 26-year old man an Indian resident working in Liberia was Quarantined at Delhi’s Airport Health Organization Quarantine center. He was cured of the Disease but was a carrier as the virus was present in his semen.
Steps taken by The Health Ministry
- Our then (2014) health minister Harsh Vardhan said that most advanced surveillance and tracking systems have been developed and with a big vegetarian population chances of E.V.D outbreak are very less in India
- 24-hour Emergency helpline numbers- (011)- 23061 (1469), (3205), (1302) have been announced.
- Ram manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi is declared as the center for Ebola Prevention in India.
- Reports of Indian Intervention missions in affected countries have also been reported.