Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Ebola in Uganda

My friend Tony called me yesterday and said that he had cancelled his business trip to Uganda because of the ravaging Ebola disease that is happening there. 
While the rest of the world is focused on the Olympic games, about 14 people has died from the 'Ebola'. I think that is scary.
Well, I decided to do something medical and educational on today post and it's about the Ebola. Hopefully, we will help each other understand this 'demon of death' (It's lengthy, please pardon me)

1. What is Ebola?
Ebola virus disease (EVD) (or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF)) is the name for the human disease which may be caused by any of four of the five known ebola viruses. These four viruses are: Bundibugyo virus (BDBV), Ebola virus (EBOV), Sudan virus (SUDV), andTaï Forest virus (TAFV, formerly and more commonly Côte d'Ivoire Ebola virus (Ivory Coast Ebolavirus, CIEBOV)). 

2. What are its symptoms?
EVD begins with a sudden onset of an influenza-like stage characterized by general malaisefever with chillsarthralgia and myalgia, and chest painNausea is accompanied by abdominal painanorexiadiarrhea, and vomitingRespiratory tract involvement is characterized by pharyngitis with sore throatcoughdyspnea, and hiccups. The central nervous system is affected as judged by the development of severe headachesagitationconfusionfatigue,depressionseizures, and sometimes coma.
3. Causes?
Based on Wikipedia :
Plantsarthropods, and birds have been considered as possible reservoirs; however, bats are considered the most likely candidate. Bats were known to reside in the cotton factory in which the index cases for the 1976 and 1979 outbreaks were employed, and they have also been implicated in Marburg virus infections in 1975 and 1980. Of 24 plant species and 19 vertebrate species experimentally inoculated with EBOV, only bats became infected. The absence of clinical signs in these bats is characteristic of a reservoir species. In a 2002–2003 survey of 1,030 animals which included 679 bats from Gabon and the Republic of the Congo, 13 fruit bats were found to contain EBOV RNA fragments. As of 2005, three types of fruit bats (Hypsignathus monstrosusEpomops franqueti, and Myonycteris torquata) have been identified as being in contact with EBOV. They are now suspected to represent the EBOV reservoir hosts.
The existence of integrated genes of filoviruses in some genomes of small rodents, insectivorous bats, shrews, tenrecs, and marsupials indicates a history of infection with filoviruses in these groups as well. However, it has to be stressed that infectious ebolaviruses have not yet been isolated from any nonhuman animal.
Bats drop partially eaten fruits and pulp, then terrestrial mammals such as gorillas and duikers feed on these fallen fruits. This chain of events forms a possible indirect means of transmission from the natural host to animal populations, which have led to research towards viral shedding in the saliva of bats. Fruit production, animal behavior, and other factors vary at different times and places which may trigger outbreaks among animal populations.
 Transmission between natural reservoirs and humans are rare, and outbreaks are usually traceable to a single index case where an individual has handled the carcass of gorilla, chimpanzee, or duiker. The virus then spreads person-to-person, especially within families, hospitals, and during some mortuary rituals where contact among individuals becomes more likely.
The virus has been confirmed to be transmitted through body fluids. Transmission through oral exposure and through conjunctivaexposure is likely and has been confirmed in non-human primates. Filoviruses are not naturally transmitted by aerosol. They are, however, highly infectious as breathable 0.8–1.2 micrometre droplets in laboratory conditions; because of this potential route of infection, these viruses have been classified as Category A biological weapons.
All epidemics of Ebola have occurred in sub-optimal hospital conditions, where practices of basic hygiene and sanitation are often either luxuries or unknown to caretakers and where disposable needles and autoclaves are unavailable or too expensive. In modern hospitals with disposable needles and knowledge of basic hygiene and barrier nursing techniques, Ebola has never spread on a large scale. In isolated settings such as a quarantined hospital or a remote village, most victims are infected shortly after the first case of infection is present. The quick onset of symptoms from the time the disease becomes contagious in an individual makes it easy to identify sick individuals and limits an individual's ability to spread the disease by traveling. Because bodies of the deceased are still infectious, some doctors had to take measures to properly dispose of dead bodies in a safe manner despite local traditional burial rituals.

4. Prevention 

Ebola viruses are highly infectious as well as contagious.
As an outbreak of ebola progresses, bodily fluids from diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding represent a hazard. Due to lack of proper equipment and hygienic practices, large-scale epidemics occur mostly in poor, isolated areas without modern hospitals or well-educated medical staff. Many areas where the infectious reservoir exists have just these characteristics. In such environments, all that can be done is to immediately cease all needle-sharing or use without adequate sterilization procedures, isolate patients, and observe strict barrier nursing procedures with the use of a medical-rated disposable face mask, gloves, goggles, and a gown at all times, strictly enforced for all medical personnel and visitors. The aim of all of these techniques is to avoid any person’s contact with the blood or secretions of any patient, including those who are deceased.
here is currently no FDA-approved ebolavirus-specific therapy for EVD. Treatment is primarily supportive in nature and includes minimizing invasive procedures, balancing fluids andelectrolytes to counter dehydration, administration of anticoagulants early in infection to prevent or control disseminated intravascular coagulation, administration of procoagulants late in infection to control hemorrhaging, maintaining oxygen levels, pain management, and administration of antibiotics or antimycotics to treat secondary infections.
There is no treatment for this disease. 

Got this article from wikipedia, please check it for more 
information. 

The whole scenario reminds me of the movie 'Contagion'. It's 
really sad.

Hopefully, something is done about this quickly before it 
spreads further than this. My thoughts are with the country.



What do you think of this situation? Please put them in your prayers.

Thanks for your feedback. Hugs!!!