The Ebola virus is a pathogen that causes severe haemorrhagic fever, often fatal, not only in humans but also in non-human primates with mortality rates ranging up to 90%.
The viral agent was identified in 1976 during an epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
There are five several types of Ebola:
Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV); Sudan ebolavirus (SEBOV);
Ivory Coast ebolavirus; Bundibugyo ebolavirus; Reston ebolavirus.
All these pathogens are found in Africa, except the Reston ebolavirus, located in the Philippines.
The Ebola Zaire virus is highly pathogenic and is associated with the highest mortality rate.
The Ebola virus is transmitted through the body fluids of animals and infected people. Humans can be infected by direct contact with blood, saliva, semen, vaginal fluid, vomiting, urine or faeces. Even dirty objects, needles or clothing can be contaminated with infected secretions.
According to the World Health Organization, it is possible to contract the infection by managing a sick or dead wild animal that has been infected. Slaughtering or eating infected carcasses can help spread the Ebola virus.
the countries affected by Ebola are all part of West Africa.
however, the countries most affected and with the highest number of deaths are Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
The clinical diagnosis of Ebola is difficult in the initial stages of infection: the symptoms are Fever, sore throat, red eyes and conjunctivitis, chills, joint and muscular pains, malaise, weakness,
watery diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, stomach ache, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, confusion, bleeding inside and outside the body.
The Tests to verify the presence of the Ebola virus are:
ELISA TEST, RT-PCR and serum-neutralization test.
The Ebola virus is one of the most aggressive pathogens known to science, fatal in about 50-90% of cases.
It is not possible to intervene on the natural reservoir of the disease that has not been identified with certainty. Therefore, prevention relies on compliance with sanitary measures, the capacity for early clinical and laboratory diagnosis and patient isolation.
Currently, there are no specific treatments or vaccines for Ebola. For this reason, the therapy consists of supportive hospital treatment designed to alleviate the symptoms. These can include: Oxygen therapy; Intravenous or oral liquids, to maintain the hydro-electrolyte balance; Blood transfusions; Pain medications.
The cost of management of epidemic disease outbreaks is almost always more than the cost of avoiding them.
The World Bank calculates that more than $ 1 billion is needed to curb the epidemic and avoid a long-term economic disaster against the 32.6 billion spent in the year 2015 for the treatment.
Therefore, without competent care and prevention, the threat is greater. More elaborate knowledge is needed to understand how the virus spreads and develops.