The Ebola virus disease is a rare condition that triggers severe symptoms and can be deadly. Take note that the disease belongs to a group of viruses responsible for causing viral hemorrhagic fever.
Fruit bats are the natural host of the Ebola viruses with outbreaks reported in other species such as gorillas, chimpanzees and other monkeys. The virus was introduced to humans via close contact with blood, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals both dead or alive. The virus can spread from one individual to another if exposed to bodily fluids including waste products and blood.
What are the indications?
Individuals with the Ebola virus are not considered infectious until the symptoms develop. These symptoms usually manifest within 2-21 days, but commonly between 8-10 days after being infected. The common symptoms include the following:
- Muscle and joint pain
Oftentimes, other symptoms that might arise include the following:
- Elevated skin rashes
- Malfunctioning of the kidneys and liver
In some cases, it might include external and internal bleeding and might even progress to multiple organ failure and even death.
Who are at risk for acquiring the Ebola virus?
Individuals who are living or travelling to areas with reported cases of Ebola virus disease are at risk. Take note that the risk for infection with the virus is low, unless there is direct contact with bodily fluids or blood of an infected animal or person whether dead or alive as well as unprotected sexual activity among those with a confirmed diagnosis up to 3 months after they have recovered. Those who travelled to affected areas and feel sick should seek medical care right away.
How is it diagnosed
The Ebola virus disease is diagnosed by detecting the genetic material from the virus in the sample of blood, urine or throat swab from the individual.
Even today, there is no available vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus disease. Individuals who travel to affected areas should avoid any direct contact with the bodily fluids or blood of an infected animal or person.