Ebola epidemic

Since the discovery of Ebola in 1976, the 2014 outbreak is by far the worst ever. Totalling more casualties than all previous outbreaks combined. One of the earlier cases of this virus was near the Ebola River in West Africa, giving this virus its name.

It is widely believed to have spread from the consumption and close contact to fruit bats in the West African regions. Fruit bats are known to be natural hosts of this deadly virus and any contact to its bodily fluids will result in the introduction of the virus to the human population. Plenty of other animals in that region are known to carry the disease. Once it has entered a human’s body it is easily transferred to the next victim via contact with blood, mucus, and saliva; even infected bed sheets.

Signs of symptoms can occur 2 – 21 days after the host has been infected. Humans aren’t contagious until symptoms appear. The first signs of symptoms are sudden muscle pains, violent fevers, sore throat and headache. Followed by impaired kidney and liver functions along with vomiting and diarrhoea. In extreme cases, internal and external bleeding from the gums and in the stools also occurs.

A proven treatment doesn’t exist to cure the Ebola virus disease. So far direct treatment of symptoms seems to be the only way to bring relief to those infected. Although, not proven, two vaccines are undergoing human trials. Last reported case of the virus was late September in West Africa. The authorities are doing their best to keep it under control.

The virus reached the United States of America when an American surgeon was infected in Sierra Leone, Africa. Being an American citizen, he was flown back to his home and given the best treatment possible. Despite every possible effort and the latest medical technology they were not able to save him. He was pronounced dead on November 17th in the Nebraska medical centre. Moving forward it is best that we educate ourselves to save our lives and the lives around us.

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