What is ebola?
Ebola is caused by a virus known as the Ebola virus. It is a haemorrhagic fever; hence called as Ebola hemorrhagic fever. It is a contagious disease, whereby the deadly virus is transmitted from human to human. It has claimed many lives in the past, and even presently, in West Africa.
The symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Muscle pains
- Liver and kidney problems
- Bleeding at critical stages; great internal and external bleeding might occur though body apertures, and skin pores.
Spread of the Ebola virus
Infection is caused by contact with blood, or body fluids – including blood, vomit, and faeces – of an infected animal or person. Fruit bats are the common vectors of the disease. Infected males may also transmit the virus to others via their semen.
Ebola is not an air-borne disease.
The disease is managed by regulating the fluids and electrolytes of the patients. Since the latter bleed profusely even through blood vessels, their blood pressure and kidney function are greatly affected.
The 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak
Recently, an outbreak of Ebola has been plaguing West Africa (Ebola outbreak 2014), and it is being considered as the largest outbreak of the disease ever. The state of affairs has reached an alarming level, and the authorities concerned including experts from Europe, are working towards remediation methods. While some are fearing the risk of a pandemic, the probability of the virus to spread to other continents is considered to be low, in the view of specialists.
There is as yet no cure for the disease. Generally, the outbreak kills 90 % of the people who have been infected. However, for the 2014 Ebola outbreak, it has claimed around 60 % of those having been infected with the virus.