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Ebola Infection - How to Prevent and Control It - Slideshow

Developed by Rakhee Maloo, BA  | Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team on Dec 20, 2014
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What is Ebola?

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What is Ebola?, Ebola Infection - How to Prevent and Control It
Ebola virus disease is a serious illness that can often be fatal. It is caused by the Ebola virus, which is transmitted to humans from wild animals. Healthy people can become infected with Ebola if they come in contact with an infected person. The disease was earlier referred to as 'The Dreaded Ebola Infection'.

Ebola Facts

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Ebola Facts, Ebola Infection - How to Prevent and Control It
» The first incidence of Ebola infection and outbreak in humans occurred in Africa in 1976.

» The Ebola virus is named after the Ebola River, its origin.

» The Ebola virus can remain in semen up to three months after recovery.

» There are at present five Ebola viruses that have been identified and four of these can infect humans.

» The 2014 Ebola outbreak began in the month of March.

How is Ebola Virus Transmitted?

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How is Ebola Virus Transmitted?, Ebola Infection - How to Prevent and Control It
Fruit bats have been identified as hosts of Ebola virus. It is transmitted to humans when they come in contact with infected animals such as gorillas, monkeys, chimpanzees, antelope, porcupines and of course fruit bats. Any contact with organs, body fluids, blood and secretions of infected animals can transmit the Ebola virus to humans.

How is Ebola Virus Transmitted Human-to-Human?

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How is Ebola Virus Transmitted Human-to-Human?, Ebola Infection - How to Prevent and Control It
Ebola virus can transmit from one human to another through direct contact with an infected person. This can be through blood, organs, secretions and organs of infected people. This need not be only direct contact through broken skin or membranes. If a healthy person comes into contact with clothing and bedding, which are contaminated with infected fluids from the Ebola virus, even then it gets transmitted to a healthy person.

What are the Symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease?

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What are the Symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease?, Ebola Infection - How to Prevent and Control It
The symptoms of Ebola virus infection take sometime to manifest. Most people begin showing symptoms after a week or 10 days. The initial symptoms are fever, sore throat, muscle pain, stomach pain and headache. After that the symptoms also include rash, vomiting, chest pains, diarrhea, red eyes, internal bleeding and external bleeding. The infected person can also show signs of problematic liver and kidney functions.

The initial symptoms are the same for some other diseases such as typhoid, malaria and meningitis, hence it is not easy to diagnose Ebola infection.

How is Ebola Virus Diagnosed?

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How is Ebola Virus Diagnosed?, Ebola Infection - How to Prevent and Control It
Special tests to confirm the diagnosis are undertaken. The blood or fluid samples from the infected persons are sent for-

» Antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing,

» IgM ELISA

» Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

» Virus isolation under Electron Microscopes

How is Ebola Virus Infection Treated?

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How is Ebola Virus Infection Treated?, Ebola Infection - How to Prevent and Control It
The sad fact is that there is no safe and successful treatment for Ebola available yet.

» The patients are kept under isolation to prevent the infection from spreading to others

» Intravenous fluids for rehydration

» As of now no vaccines are available for Ebola prevention

Vaccines from antibodies of the people who have survived from Ebola is being worked on and some success with these vaccines have been documented on animals.

How to Prevent Infections from Ebola Virus?

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How to Prevent Infections from Ebola Virus?, Ebola Infection - How to Prevent and Control It
The best way to prevent Ebola virus infections is to minimize contact with infected animals and people -

» Reduce virus transmission from animals, workers and caretakers must ensure not to touch animals with bare hands or consume raw meat.

» Use of protective gloves while handling animals can prevent infections.

» Hand washing after handling patients is also important in preventing infections.

» Medical personnel should also wear facial masks and be extra cautious when in close vicinity of an Ebola patient.

How to Control Ebola Infection Outbreak?

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How to Control Ebola Infection Outbreak?, Ebola Infection - How to Prevent and Control It
The most important measure to control an Ebola outbreak is to keep the infected people -

» Isolated and employ prevention measures when handling them.

» Another important safety measure is the prompt burial of infected people who succumb to the infection.

» Monitor the health of those who might have come into contact with the deceased patient to see if they manifest any symptoms within 21 days.

Awareness about the disease, its risks and prevention measures can greatly help in containing an Ebola outbreak.

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