Ebola is the name of the virus that causes the disease known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF). The name came from a name came from a river valley that is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo and it was here that the outbreak of this Killer disease is believed to have occurred. This was in a mission hospital in the year 1976 but the disease remained ambiguous until the year 1989 when there a number of other outbreaks noted among monkeys in the US. This virus is believed to meddle with the lining of the endothelial cells in the internal tissues of the blood veins as well as the process of coagulation. These vessels become smashed and shattered, the platelets experience hardships in coagulating and at this stage the patient is said to succumb to what is referred to as 'hypovolemic shock' (Maeno, 2000).
The mode of transmission of this disease is through the various fluids in the body. The exposure of Conjunctiva is also believed to be a mode of transmission of Ebola. There basically five species of the virus but only four have been confirmed. These species are known to propagate this disease and all of them fall in the classification of the genus of Ebola virus. Out of the four species, only one is believed not to cause infections in the people. The virus is Ebola-Zaire, Ebola-Ivory Coast and Ebola-Sudan. The other, Ebola-Reston has been associated with causing infections in primates only. According to GIS, the infringement of the Ebola virus into the human race is believed to have resulted from the entrance of man into the rain forest for destruction. The Congo outbreak however was the first one of its kind in which the Ebola virus was recorded in the human body (Feigin, 2004).
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In regard to the Incubation Period, when a person is infected with the Ebola virus, multiplication of the virus is launched and the virus can access any part of the body and after an average of six days the disease becomes noticeable. This period ranges from two to twenty one days depending on the individual. Among the symptoms are high fever, muscle aches, headache, tiredness, abdominal pain, muscle aches, and diarrhea and this happens immediately after infection. In some patients the diarrhea will be blood stained and some even vomit blood. In most of the patients the conditions worsen in few days into copious internal bleeding followed by shock and eventual death (Maeno, 2000).
The diagnosis is very important and must be carried out immediately. In carrying out the diagnosis of this disease the doctor poses some question on the symptoms, current medication, medical conditions and the family history. This will be followed by a series of tests on the patient so as to look out on the already known symptoms and signs of Ebola. If the doctor suspects of a possible infection, laboratory tests follow immediately to confirm this (Peters, 1999).
It is important to note that no standard form or method for the treatment of Ebola. This meaning that the treatment is chiefly supportive, the procedures may include: replacing the lost coagulation factors so as to abate bleeding; balancing electrolytes, given the desiccating effect of the disease; treating complications which may stem from the Ebola viral infection; and maintaining favorable oxygen and blood levels in the body. All these are to be followed, given that Ebola hemorrhagic fever has no known cure. The gravity behind this is that the best that can be done is to abate the health risks that may come from the fever by following these above provisions.
At the moment, the most important method for preventing the disease is quarantine. This portends, separating the infected from the rest of the otherwise healthy public. The effort may be supplemented by heightening continual and temporary awareness. The latter may involve informing the public about the symptoms; the need to quarantine the infected; and taking proper actions when there is an outbreak. The former on the other hand involves continually informing the public about the same, but in and out of season, whether there is an outbreak or not.
Apart from the above measures, given the absence of actual vaccine against the illness, it remains important to ensure the highest standard of hygiene; avoid needle-sharing and use of unsterilized needles; observing strict barrier nursing barriers. This may involve, using: medical disposable face masks, goggles and full flowing and clean gowns (Basler, Wang and Muhleberger, 2000).
Xu and others (2008) divulge that The activities which may increase the likelihood of contracting the Ebola virus include: contact with the infected person's body fluids (for instance, diarrhea, vomit, blood and sweat); using needles that are unsterilized or sharing needles with an infected person or an Ebola virus carrier; carrying out nursing procedures without following the strict barrier procedure. Similarly, poverty stricken areas that are so ostracized from matters of hygiene and modern hospitals which have adequately educated medical practitioners are likely to provide the best grounds for Ebola virus infection.
The outlook of a person infected with the Ebola is quite telling. The person may suffer protracted bouts of diarrhea, regurgitation, fever, internal and external bleeding, tired, in generalized pain and malaise. Nevertheless, it is given that around the second week of infection, Ebola fever patients may experience either defervescence or systematic multi-organ failure, or even both. Normally it takes between 2 and 21 days for these symptoms to progress into the death stage.
The changes in the environmental factors such as climatic conditions contribute to the spread of the Ebola disease. The Ebola like other diseases for example Bird flu, cholera and Tuberculosis are some of the diseases that the environmental conditions such as climatic change accelerate their spread. The environmental factors such as the movement of animals also would result to the rapid spread of Ebola. As it was noted earlier, viruses that causes Ebola disease thrive in primates for example monkeys and thus the movement of monkeys from one place to the other would cause a threat to the humans as there are known to be the cause of the spread of the virus. Monkeys, for instance are blamed for the spread of the disease in Uganda to Congo when the outbreak of the disease was recorded in the year 2007 (Inglis, 2003).
Steps that are being taken to overcome the Ebola virus and hemorrhagic fever are multifaceted and totally austere. The carrying out of research activities is seen as the most dexterous expedition that is geared towards combating the Ebola virus. For instance, the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories at Boston University through research activities manage to make a drug that contained small interfering RNA which has the ability to prevent the virus from reproducing in monkeys. With these inroads being made in the medical sector, human civilization is closing edging on the precipice to a breakthrough against the virus, mainly in the form of vaccination (World Health Organization, 2005).
The increased efforts that are being concerted to raise awareness on the illness and the developmental approach that sees different governments set up well equipped health centers staffed with competent medical practitioners are all geared towards combating the threat of the Ebola virus.
Various efforts to contain the spread of the disease has being put in place by the governments and other Non Governmental organizations like the church and the communities in the area that were affected by the Ebola infections. The government for instance in Uganda were the cases of the outbreak of the Ebola disease was recorded government came up with the programs that were geared toward containing the spread of the disease. Government ensures that the movement of the wild animals like the monkeys are monitored and controlled to stop the spread of the disease. The government ensures that medical personnel are deployed in the area where there is outbreak of the disease to ensure the severity and the spread of the disease is controlled. In some of the region where outbreak of Ebola was recorded, people believed the disease is a cure and thus sacrifices were offered to appease their gods and stop the spread of Ebola (Engelkirk & Duben-Engelkirk, 2007).
Diagnostic techniques in the treatment of Ebola disease are not similar to all places of the world where the outbreak of the disease has being recorded. The diagnosis of the Ebola disease is done by Enzyme-linked ImmunoSorbent-Assay test abbreviated as (ELISA). There are about five species of Ebola which include Zaire, Bundibugyo, Sudan, Côte d'Ivoire and Reston. These five species of Ebola disease are not similar and thus there are different interventions to the treatment of the disease; Zaïre, Bundibugyo and Sudan species are known to cause fatality with the fatality ratio between 25-90%; other species have low fatality ratio. There are no specific antiviral treatments for the Ebola disease; the hospital care is meant to be supportive. Once the patient has recovered from the disease there are no chances of him being infected in future (Wilks, Farrington & Rubenstein, 2003).
There are different Government and private organizations interventions geared toward the eradicating of the Ebola disease. Since there is no known antiviral treatment for the Ebola disease, the government and private organizations helps in controlling the spread of the disease. The spread of the viruses that cause Ebola is through the body fluids such as sweat, saliva, blood and the sperms. The government and other organization contain the spread of the disease through controlling the movement of people and wildlife from the places with cases of Ebola to other places. The medical personnel are also provided with the protective clothing to protect them from being infected which include double gloves, face shields, impermeable gowns and shoe covering (Wilks, Farrington & Rubenstein, 2003).