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What is Ebola?

Ebola is a deadly rare virus. Ebola sufferers will experience fever, diarrhoea, discomfort, as well as internal and outer bleeding. When the Ebola virus spreads throughout the body, it will damage the immune system and vital organs. In the end, the patient with Ebola experiences severe uncontrollable bleeding.

The Ebola virus can cause acute and serious illnesses if not treated immediately. It has been proven that this virus can cause 90% of infected patients to die.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ebola cases first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, namely in Nzara and Yambuku. Subsequently, the Ebola outbreak in 2014-2016 in West Africa was the largest Ebola outbreak. The outbreak originated in Guinea then moved across the land border into Sierra Leone and Liberia. The Ebola outbreak occurred again in 2018-2019 in the eastern part of Kivu Region, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Causes of Ebola

Ebola is not as contagious as cold, influenza, or measles. The Ebola virus can spread through contact with skin or body fluids from infected animals, such as monkeys, chimpanzees or bats. The virus will then be transmitted to other people in the same way. People who treat or bury the bodies of Ebola patients are at risk of contracting the virus.

In addition, you can become infected with the Ebola virus if you touch a needle or a surface that has been contaminated with the virus. The Ebola virus cannot be transmitted from air, water or food.

When to See a Doctor for Ebola

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if you have Ebola from the symptoms alone. You need to consult your doctor to get the right treatment. He or she may perform a series of tests before diagnosing the disease, as it could be that you have cholera or malaria.

During the examination process, your doctor will recommend that you take blood tests and extract body tissue to be able to diagnose Ebola. If the test results show that you have Ebola, you will have to isolate yourself immediately to prevent the transmission of the virus.

Symptoms of Ebola

Recognize the symptoms of Ebola for early prevention. In the early days of being infected with Ebola, the symptoms you feel can be very similar to those of the flu virus in general. Ebola symptoms do not appear until 2-21 days after becoming infected with the virus and usually include:

  • Stomach ache.
  • Headache.
  • High fever.
  • Sore throat.
  • The body feels weak.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Joint pain and muscle aches.

As the Ebola disease gets worse, you may experience bleeding from the eyes, nose and ears. Some Ebola sufferers will also cough or vomit blood, have bloody stools, and develop a skin rash. 

The transmission of the Ebola virus is very fast, dangerous, and deadly. If you or your family experience the symptoms above, go to the hospital immediately for further treatment and examination.

Treatment for Ebola

Until now, there is no specific treatment to treat Ebola patients. Blood or plasma transfusions from recovered Ebola patients may be beneficial, as they can become antibodies to the Ebola virus. Today, the recommended therapy consists of maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance, as well as blood and plasma transfusions to control bleeding of an Ebola sufferer.

Medications designed to prevent Ebola virus have been developed and tested in monkeys infected with Ebola. One such therapy was found to protect more than 60% of rhesus monkeys infected with Ebola when the drug was given within 30-60 minutes of infection.

In 2010 it was approved to carry out treatment trials in humans. These treatments are promising for people who are accidentally infected in a laboratory or hospital.

Another treatment that is currently being developed is ZMapp. It is a mixture of three antibodies that bind to proteins in the Ebola virus. This treatment was given to individuals who were infected during the Ebola outbreak in 2014-2016. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of ZMapp is still in doubt.

Experimental vaccines are being developed to treat Ebola patients, including a vaccine known as VSV-EBOV. This vaccine has proven to be very effective in preventing the spread of the Ebola virus between people who come in contact with infected people. When VSV-EBOV is injected, the vaccinated person’s body will produce antibodies against the Ebola virus protein – strengthening immune systems.

There are other treatment options recommended by doctors, including experimental serum that destroys infected cells. Doctors may perform treatments through: 

  • Oxygen therapy.
  • Blood transfusion.
  • Fluid and electrolyte therapy.
  • Prescriptions of blood pressure medications.
  • Treatment for other infections.

Treatment Cost for Ebola

Ebola is difficult to diagnose as the symptoms resemble typhoid or malaria. Your doctor will conduct a medical interview, physical examination, and a series of other laboratory tests. Treatment cost for Ebola depends on the type of treatment recommended by the doctor.

To find out the estimated treatment cost for Ebola at home and abroad, contact Smarter Health.

Prevention of Ebola

There is a vaccine available to prevent Ebola, but not in every country. Another way to prevent Ebola disease is to avoid travel to areas where the Ebola virus is found.

If you go to where the Ebola virus was first discovered, avoid direct contact with monkeys, chimpanzees, and bats, as they can spread the Ebola virus to humans. You can get the Ebola vaccine from WHO.

If you are a health worker who treats a patient infected with Ebola, be sure to always wear a mask, gloves and goggles whenever you have to have direct contact with sufferers or people who are at risk of having Ebola.

Home Remedies for Ebola

A number of medical complications have been reported in patients who have recovered from Ebola, including patients with mental health disorders. The Ebola virus can survive in several body fluids, such as breast milk, semen, and fluids associated with a woman’s pregnancy.

Ebola sufferers need comprehensive support to get through medical and psychological challenges. This is important to minimize the risk of transmission of the Ebola virus. There are special programs for recovered patients. The following is the WHO’s home care recommendations for Ebola patients:

  • The patient’s spouse, friends, and family must give encouragement to keep them psychologically healthy.
  • Recovering patients and their partners should undergo counseling to ensure safe sexual intercourse until the semen comes out twice and is tested negative.
  • The WHO recommends that men who recover from Ebola should practice safe sex and maintain good hygiene for 12 months from the onset of symptoms or until their semen is tested negative twice.
  • Men who recover from Ebola should have a semen test 3 months after the onset of the disease. For those who test positive, they will still have to do the semen test until the test results are negative twice at one-week intervals per test.

Have more questions about Ebola?  Please write them down in the comment section below or contact Smarter Health.

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