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Fighting the Deadly Ebola Virus

By Kai Wade - Director of Communications & Social Media | October 17th, 2014

Ebola, formerly demarcated as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. The average Ebola case fatality rate is near 70%.

Ebola is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. There are five identified Ebola virus species, four of which are known to cause disease in humans.

Early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival. There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralize the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development.

Symptoms of Ebola

The time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days. Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms. First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat — closely followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. Laboratory findings comprise of low white blood cells and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.

Are You in an Area Affected by Ebola?

If you travel to or are in an area affected by an Ebola outbreak, please take the following extra precautions:

  • Practice careful hygiene. For example, wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid contact with blood and body fluids.
  • DO NOT handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment).
  • Avoid funeral or burials that require handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
  • Avoid contact with bats and nonhuman primates or blood, fluids, and raw meat prepared from these animals.
  • Avoid hospitals in West Africa where Ebola patients are now being treated. For a list of facilities, contact the U.S. embassy or consulate.
  • After returning from travels in an Ebola stricken area, monitor your health for 21 days and seek medical care immediately if you develop feverish symptoms.

To learn more about Ebola, please contact a general physician near you.




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