Thursday, July 31, 2014

Everything You Need To Know About The Ebola Virus and Prevention.


        Ebola is the latest viral outbreak in West African countries Liberia, Sierre Leone and Guinea. It is highly contagions, the death toll is as high as 90% and there is no known treatment or cure for the virus. According to the World health Organization (WHO), the virus has claimed the lives of 672 people since its recent outbreak. Of everyone that is infected with this virus, they will go on to infect an average 2 and half more people. In allegiance with the fight against Ebola, I have put together a brief overview of symptoms and tips on how to prevent contacting it. 

Symptoms of The Virus
Symptoms of the Ebola virus manifest quite quickly. The incubation period is 2-21 days, which means people usually start experiencing symptoms any time between 21 days after being infected with the virus. The symptoms have been described to be "malaria-like", which includes onset of extremely high fever, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting, joint pain, and many others. At its later stage bleeding from openings in the body, such as the eyes,  mouth, nose and ears starts and eventually shutting down of internal organs such as the kidneys.

How Is The Virus Contacted?
The Ebola virus is contacted through direct contact with an infected person or animal. It is detected in bodily fluids, like blood, urine, seamen, discharge and even sweat (yes I said sweat). You can also contact it by touching the corpses of dead humans and bodies of animals like primates and bats.

Protecting Yourself From The Virus. 
The good thing is that Ebola has limited transmission ability, which is one of the reasons why outbreaks can normally be stopped within weeks or months. What it takes is public education and good health care hygiene like isolating patients and sterilization procedures. Like every virus such as the flu, human immune deficiency (HIV), meningitis etc, you have to take precautionary measures to keep yourself safe from contacting them. In the case of Ebola, one has to be extra cautious when coming in contact with people. The best way to keep yourself free from this virus is sterilization. That is washing your hands very frequently with disinfectant soaps, especially after touching a public item like a door knob, or bus handle. If you find yourself touching something of high risk, abstain from touching anything else until you wash your hands thoroughly. That way you're not helping the virus to spread. Also try to keep from touching and/or exposing any open wounds you may have. Use of hand sanitizers are helpful as well, but they should not replace soap and water. Also if you know or suspect someone of having the virus, refer them to your nearest health center, and isolate yourself form the infected person.

Visit the World Health Organization Africa for more information on the Ebola Virus. By spreading informative articles about it, we can increase awareness and help in controlling the spread of the virus.

World Health Organization Africa 

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