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Ebola

 

Ebola is one of the deadliest diseases on the planet; His death rate ranges from 50 to 95 percent of those affected. As its name suggests, it is caused by the Ebola virus, which was diagnosed for the first time in the 1970s. Its name comes from the Ebola River, located in Zaire; It was there that the first Ebola case in history was detected.

The last Ebola outbreak took place four years ago. It was in 2014 when the largest epidemic in history was unleashed; It was terminated in 2016, with a balance of about 12,000 people deceased. The first outbreak took place in late 2013 in Guinea-Conakry, from where it spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia. Western countries like Spain also suffered from the Ebola outbreak with infected aid workers and missionaries.

One of the most popular cases was that of the nursing assistant Teresa Romero ; He became infected with Ebola after attending to missionary Manuel García Viejo, repatriated from Sierra Leone. She was admitted for 30 days and managed to overcome the disease thanks to the plasma treatment of a person who contracted the disease and overcame it.

What is Ebola?

It is a virus that alters endothelial cells , which line the inner surface of blood vessels and allow blood to clot. Thus, when platelets are affected, they are not able to clot, leading to hemorrhagic shock.

Currently, people who are at some risk of contracting the virus are those who are in direct contact with infected patients, as well as workers who have contact with infected African primates.

The risk of contracting Ebola when traveling to Africa is very remote.

Ebola symptoms

The incubation period of this disease can vary considerably from one patient to another; it is generally between two and twenty days. For reference, in the vast majority of cases the first symptoms appear eight days after infection.

The first warning signs are: a very severe and persistent headache, high fever , and severe muscle and joint pain. As the virus progresses, other symptoms such as diarrhea, conjunctival congestion, and even internal and external bleeding may appear .

How is Ebola diagnosed?

When a patient goes to a hospital with the symptoms explained in the previous point, one of the first questions that the doctor will ask him is if he has recently traveled to endemic areas of Ebola or malaria.

If the answer is yes, the doctor will order laboratory tests to confirm the presence of the virus in the blood. The technique that is commonly used is known as detection of IgM and IgG antibodies; It is a test that captures the antibodies that are present in the patient’s serum when they react with a virus protein.

Another of the clinical tests that allow detecting a case of Ebola is a blood count . Generally, patients affected by this pathology have a very low level of white blood cells, as well as high levels of hematocrit.

You may also be interested in:   Rubella

Ebola treatment

Treatment of the disease depends largely on how the virus has affected the body, as well as the symptoms that patients present. In the most serious cases, in which internal and / or external bleeding occurs, intravenous administration of fluids is essential , as well as blood transfusions.

Many pharmaceutical companies around the world are trying to find a cure for this disease. In recent years, some patients have been administered a hyperimmune serum made from blood plasma obtained from patients who have successfully overcome the disease.

As for the prognosis for the Ebola virus, it is very negative, especially in remote areas of some African countries. As we have pointed out, it is a life-threatening disease, with a fatality rate that can reach 90%.

How does spreads the disease?

It is important to note that Ebola is a very infectious virus; In addition, it is extremely fast since it can cause the death of those who are infected in a matter of days.

Transmission to humans can occur through two routes. On the one hand, through contact with an infected animal , both dead and alive. And, on the other hand, between people, by contact with blood and other bodily secretions.

In certain areas of Africa, what is known as nosocomial transmission can also occur . This is the name given to the transmission of the disease within a health center. Generally, patients are cared for without any type of protection such as gloves or masks. Also, if the needles become contaminated with the virus and are not thrown away, they can infect many people.

Such is the affection of the Ebola virus that the protocol establishes that an autopsy cannot be carried out since the risk of contagion by the victim’s fluids is very high. The person must be cremated.

Tips to Avoid Spreading Ebola

The World Health Organization has launched a series of tips to take into account to avoid the spread of this disease as much as possible.

  • Animals: Animals can be a source of infection for the Ebola virus. Although there is currently no vaccine aimed at preventing its infection in animals, it is convenient to use certain disinfection elements on farms. Furthermore, at the slightest sign of a virus outbreak, animals should be quarantined immediately. If the risk of contagion to humans is very high, a decision should be made to euthanize the animals.
  • People: There is currently no vaccine to treat the Ebola virus. Therefore, taking a series of basic precautions is of great relevance to avoid its contagion. In health centers it is essential to use gloves and protective clothing so as not to come into contact with the body fluids of patients. It is also important to wash your hands frequently.

 

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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