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Ebola Virus: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Ebola virus effects and preventive solution

Ebola virus is an acute or serious illness that is often fatal for untreated situations. Ebola virus is not infectious are more common viruses like colds, influenza, or measles. Ebola virus spreads to humans by contact with the skin or body fluids of infected animals such as monkeys, chimps or bats. Ebola virus diseases are spread from person to person the same way. Other ways to spread the Ebola virus include touching contaminated needles or surfaces. Ebola virus can not spread from air, water, or food. A person who has Ebola virus-infected but has no symptoms can’t spread the disease.

What is Ebola Virus?

Ebola virus is one kind of disease that occurs when Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a severe and often fatal infection. It is spread through contact with animals to humans or person to person that has infected blood or bodily fluids.

In 1976, Ebola virus disease first occurred in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). After that is named the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ebola virus is limited to remote villages near tropical rainforests in Central and West Africa. In 2014, an outbreak of Ebola virus disease was the largest documentary history of cases and the geographical spreads.

There are 5 five types of species of the Ebola virus genus with 3 of them previous EVD outbreaks. In 2014, an outbreak of Ebola virus disease by the Zaire species was the most deadly strain with a historic fatality rate of up to 90%.

Causes of Ebola Virus

Ebola virus occurs first from an infected animal to a human and then between humans. The viral infections are spread from animals to humans through contact with infected wildlife such as fruit bats, chimps and gorillas. Certain bats are the natural hosts for the Ebola viruses.

Causes of Ebola Virus
Causes of Ebola Virus

Ebola virus disease is transmitted from person to person by direct contact to bodily fluids or secretions from infected people such as:

  • blood
  • breast milk
  • semen (up to 61 days after infection)
  • sweat
  • stool
  • urine
  • vomit

Ebola virus disease can occur through contact with contaminated fluids and the bodies of the deceased. Since the bodies of the deceased can be infected, safe burial practices are extremely important in containing outbreaks.

Symptoms and Complications of Ebola virus

Ebola virus is reducing blood and immune system that can lead to bleeding and a weakened immune system. This virus is an incubation period of 2 to 21 days that characterized by rapid flu-like symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle pains
  • Sore throat
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
Symptoms and complications of Ebola Virus
Symptoms and complications of Ebola Virus

Others symptoms to develop:

  • Diarrhea
  • Measles-like rash
  • Reduced liver and kidney function
  • Vomiting
  • Internal and external bleeding
  • Reduce of white blood cell and platelet counts and improve liver enzymes.

People have died due to multiple organ failures. Ebola victims die of severe dehydration from extensive vomiting and diarrhea.

During outbreaks, the viral infections are getting to health care workers and the family and friends of the infected to close contact with the patients.

Diagnosis of Ebola Virus

Ebola virus disease symptoms such as weakness, fever, headache and muscle pains are not specific to the disease during the primary stages of the infection when diagnosis is hard to recover. Common diseases symptoms are similar that include malaria, typhoid fever and cholera. People with suspected Ebola virus disease should be quarantined while diagnosed by laboratory tests.

Laboratory tests can be used to diagnose Ebola virus disease. Ebola virus disease is a common and rapid detection of RNA and antibodies of the Ebola virus in the blood. These tests detect the virus for body defense response against the virus. So, Tests of blood and tissues can easily diagnose Ebola virus.

Diagnosis of Ebola Virus

Ebola virus infections are using the following diagnose methods:

  • Antibody capture enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • Antigen capture detection tests
  • Serum neutralization test
  • Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay
  • Electron microscopy
  • Virus isolation by cell culture

WHO recommended tests include:

  • Automated or semi-automated nucleic acid tests (NAT) for management of diagnosis.
  • Rapid antigen detection tests for screening purposes as part of surveillance activities, however reactive tests should be confirmed with NATs.

Specimens for diagnosis include:

  • Whole blood can be collected in ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid (EDTA) from patients exhibiting symptoms.
  • Oral fluid samples are stored in universal transport medium collected from patients or when blood collection is not possible.

Treatment and Prevention of Ebola virus

No cure for Ebola virus disease for any vaccines available to prevent infection. Treatment is supportive and involves rehydration, nutrition and medications to the management of ebola virus symptoms such as pain, fever, vomiting etc. Most people with Ebola virus disease die from severe dehydration and early supportive treatment is improving the prevention of Ebola virus.

Treatments can be experimental serum that destroys infected cells.Doctors can treatments the symptoms of Ebola virus with:

  • Fluids and electrolytes
  • Oxygen
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Blood transfusions
  • Treatment for other infections
Treatment and Prevention of Ebola virus

Since, no cure for Ebola virus disease for limiting outbreaks is to prevent transmission from animals to humans. There are several treatments include:

  • Should be rapid quarantine of suspected infected animals are buried or burned promptly
  • Should be handle to all animals and their waste with gloves and other protective clothing
  • Should be check cooking animal products (meat and blood) completely before eating
  • Should be safe grave practices
  • Should be wearing protective gear such as gloves and other personal protective equipment (such as face protection and long sleeved gowns) when dealing with infected patients
  • Should be safe injection practices
  • Should be regular hand washing
  • Should be sanitation and sterilization of the environment and instruments
  • Should be identification and isolation of infected individuals from the community
  • Should be tracing contacts during the incubation period
  • To reduce the risk of animals to human transmission from contact with infected bats, monkeys or apes.
  • To reduce the risk of human to human transmission from direct or close contact with people who have Ebola virus symptoms.
  • To containment measures including safe contact with infected Ebola virus and monitoring health care for 21 days.
  • To reduce the risk of sexual transmission of research and consideration by the WHO.
  • To reduce the risk of transmission from pregnancy times related to fluids and tissue. 


First and foremost, don’t panic about the Ebola virus. But, Ebola virus is less severe and widespread than more common and more threatening infectious. Stay calm and follow diagnosed with an Ebola virus infection that can recover and help to prevent it from spreading. 


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