Ebola Virus Disease

Overview

Type of disease: Rare conditions

Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is an extremely serious and deadly disease that has historically spread through remote areas of Central and West Africa. The Ebola virus spreads first by animal-to-human, then by human-to-human contact through blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids. The Ebola virus however cannot be spread through the air such as by a cough or sneeze. This means it is not as highly contagious as many other viruses. Ebola is considered highly infectious, which means if you become infected with the virus, you are likely to become very sick. Symptoms of Ebola virus include sudden onset of a high fever, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, rash, and impaired kidney and liver functions. As the disease progresses, internal bleeding occurs as does bleeding from the eyes. Patients often experience dehydration, which is treated with fluids containing high amounts of electrolytes. Although there is currently no approved vaccine or treatment for EVD, there are several promising treatments and a possible vaccine under development. At present, early medical support to lessen the effect of the symptoms is the best way to reduce chance of death. Standard infectious disease isolation protocols can help stop the spread of EVD.

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