EVD first originated in Sudan and
the Democratic Republic of Congo. The disease typically occurs in outbreaks in tropical regions of Sub Saharan Africa. Fewer than 1000 people have been infected every year from 1976 till 2013. Ebola virus was first detected in 1976 during outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Zaire and Sudan. The name of the disease originates from one of those first recorded outbreaks in 1976 in Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Zaire), which is situated on the Ebola River.
Symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease
This disease further progresses to bleeding phase which causes external bleeding from eyes, nose ears as well as bleeding inside the body.
Symptoms may appear from 2 to 21 days after exposure to virus, though 8-10 days is most common period after exposure to Ebola virus.
BDBV,EBOV,SUDV are most dangerous viruses as well responsible for causing large number of outbreaks in Africa.
A. Primary Source of Infection-The virus is transmitted from animals to humans. The virus is zoonotic (animal-borne) with bats being the most likely reservoir of infection.
B. Secondary Source of Infection-The virus can be transmitted from human-to- human through-
During the outbreak, those at higher risk of infection are-
a) Health workers.
b) Family and others who are in close contact with
of infected individuals.
c) Mourners who come in direct contact with the bodies of the deceased in burial ceremonies.
d) Travellers who visit disease prone areas.
It is difficult to diagnose the disease in early stages of infection as the early symptoms are non specific to Ebola virus infection. However, it can be diagnosed through several lab tests such as-
No vaccine for Ebola Virus Disease is available. Efforts are going on to develop a vaccine. There is no specific treatment for this disease. However, the standard treatment for Ebola virus Disease includes an intensive supportive therapy. This consists of:
It is very important to provide the treatment/supportive care of Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) timely, since it is difficult to diagnose the disease in the early stages of infection. The early symptoms such as headache and fever are nonspecific and can be easily misunderstood for any other disease. The prevention of this disease is a challenging task because it is still not certain as to how people are infected with EHF.
Emergency care set up in India
WHO has declared that the outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in west Africa was the “most complex outbreak which has lead to public health emergency”. The government of India has opened a 24 hour 'Emergency Helpline Operation Centre' which provides the most advanced tracking and surveillance system. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi have been identified for management and treatment of individuals with EVD. The helpline numbers are (011)-23061469, 3205 and 1302.
The primary preventive measures comprises of isolation and barrier nursing techniques. Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
Quarantine, a state of enforced isolation, is effective in decreasing the spread of disease and illnessespecially in the case of communicable diseases . The movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease is restricted to come in contact with those who are healthy. Generally, the duration of quarantine period is the length of disease's incubation period (period between the infection and appearance of symptoms) which is 2-21 days in case of Ebola virus disease.
To know about the guidelines for prevention and air travel, click on the following links below
Barrier nursing techniques include: