8 Things You Must Know About Ebola Virus

The outbreak of Ebola virus has killed more than a thousand lives, the worst record ever in the world. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are now in the anxiety. And Nigeria was recorded as the first death rate country on July 25.

What you must know about the fatal Ebola virus? Let’s have a look here:

1. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers Ebola virus as “one of the most infectious diseases known to humankind”.

2. It can kill up to 90 per cent of the people who are infected.

Five “species” of Ebola have been identified which were named as Bundibugyo, Sudan, Zaire, Tai Forest and Reston. The first three are extremely dangerous. The death rates are up to 90 per cent.

The Zaire is the core of the current epidemic. The Reston has also been identified in China and the Philippines, but no related deaths have been reported in those countries until now.

3. The virus first appeared in 1976 in Congo.

The name came from the Ebola River, nearby the village in Yambuku where the epidemic happened.

4. Ebola can be caught from both humans and animals.

The virus can be infected via close contact with blood, secretions or other bodily fluids. Fruit bats are known as the origin of the Ebola virus.

5. It spreads quickly through human-to-human transmission, as family and friends are easily to be the targets. 

Healthcare workers are usually infected while treating Ebola patients. The virus can be spread at burials where mourners touch the body.

6. Symptoms can appear from two to 21 days after exposure.

Early symptoms such as rashes and red eyes are common. It is difficult to diagnose in the early stages.

7. The virus spreads in the blood and paralyses the immune system.

Ebola is often characterised by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. Vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, both internal and external bleeding such as from the nose or via a person’s urine will be following after that.

8. There are some experimental Ebola treatments. 

Three treatments have shown optimistic results in monkeys. 

Manufactured by tiny California biotech Mapp Biopharmaceutical, gaining international significance recently  when it was given to two US aid workers who were infected Ebola in West Africa and have shown signs of improvement. The three most hard-hit nations in West Africa are waiting for the delivery of 1,000 doses of the barely-tested drug ZMapp.

Other positive drugs are from Vancouver-based Tekmira Pharmaceuticals and privately-held Profectus BioSciences, of Tarrytown, NY.

Canada said it is supplying 800 to 1,000 doses of a vaccine called VSV-EBOV. This vaccine shows good results in animals but has not yet tested on humans. It’s going to be allocated by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

WHO stated that experimental treatments could be accessible to those who are infected.

There are no any drugs or vaccines have ever entered mid-stage human experiments, let alone been approved. The furthest along have been tested only in monkeys and a handful of humans.

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