World Health Organization

August 21st, 2014, Saah Exco, a 10-year-old Liberian boy found on the beach in Liberia abandoned, sick, and all alone. No one could take care of him as his parents both passed bc of suspected having Ebola, and people in the community were scared to care for him and catch it if he did have it. Just a few days before, protestors overran the treatment facility he was in, leaving all patients to not have anyone to care for them. Ebola, a deadly virus, has affected 3,800 people and more 2,300 have died since the discovery of Ebola (according to CNN. com).

Those numbers may sound small but that is only reported, the real issue is how rapid this virus takes over the body once infected. And on top of that, who knows how many really have it and not reporting it. A lot of Africans are in denial calling Ebola a “government scam. ” Today I am going to explain Ebola Virus to you, the symptoms/transmission, diagnosis, and what health officials do to prevent this virus from spreading, as well as what we can do. So let’s begin with the symptoms/transmission of Ebola.

The early symptoms are very similar to the flu, one of the reasons why it is so difficult to diagnose this. They start to appear after 2-21 Days after exposure, you get a fever, severe headaches, muscle pain, and sore throat first, followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney/liver function. In some extreme cases you will have external and internal bleeding. According to the World Health Organization, Ebola virus has a case fatality rate of up to 90%. Transmission is why this virus is spreading so fast; any bodily fluids from the patient can infect the next person. This virus even survives on the body after the individual has passed, so the burial ceremonies must use caution when disposing of bodies that have the virus on them.

The other problem in Africa is fruit bats; these are considered to be the natural host of the virus. They survive through this virus and it does not kill them and that’s how it spreads. People find these dead animals without thinking that it may have Ebola and eat them as well. Another example, the bat flies around than defecates into a village. Now people are walking all over there village not knowing and spreading it even more.

The transmission of the virus is why this virus is surviving; it withstands the temperatures our bodies make when we have a fever. Now that I have explained the symptoms and transmission of this virus, I will now explain the diagnosis and treatment of Ebola. Before they diagnose Ebola they have to rule out other viruses that spread throughout Africa. To name a few there is malaria, typhoid fever, plague, meningitis, etc. After that is complete, they are officially diagnosed after taking several laboratory tests. Some of these tests are (ELISA) Antibody-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-a test that detects and measures antibodies in the blood, antigen detection test-antigen is a foreign body in the blood, also serum neutralization test-testing the patients serum and the antibodies that are present.

Currently there is no specific treatment; patients who are really sick have to have the most care. Usually it includes intravenous fluids and balancing electrolytes, maintaining oxygen status and blood pressure, & treating other infections if they occur. They have no vaccination for this virus, however, everyday they are getting closer and closer to a new vaccine being released. One is called ZMapp, it has not been tested in humans yet to know if it really works. With that being said, health care officials are at huge risk when caring for personnel with Ebola, the prevention measures they have to take will be discussed next.

Prevention plays another big role in controlling this virus from getting worse than it already is. The health care officials have to take special precautions so that they do not infect themselves. This includes, patient placement-by themselves, PPE-gloves, gown, eye protection, facemask, disposable shoe covers, & leg covers, keeping a log of who enters the room, dedicated medical equipment, limiting the use of needles as much as possible.

Hand hygiene is really important, always washing hands before and after caring for an Ebola patient. Avoid visitors to the patient’s room; exceptions are made case by case however. Always train any visitors about all the steps they have to take and apply the same precautions as anyone else has to. All travel to this area has been limited; there are very few one way trips from Africa to the United States. If you have to travel to this area, there are certain steps you should take one is of course avoid anyone Websites used: CNN.

com, CDC. com, WHO. int, & ABC. net. au with this virus, avoid burials where the person has dies from Ebola, avoid contact with animals, avoid any Ebola treatment facility in Africa. And once you return you must monitor your health for 21 days to make sure you have not caught anything. Now that I have explained symptoms, diagnosis, and prevention I hope you now have more knowledge about Ebola. With all the numbers of people who have Ebola, the real question is what is the REAL number of Ebola cases that exists today?

Websites used: CNN. com, CDC. com, WHO. int, & ABC. net. au.

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