Frequently Asked Questions About Ebola

Frequently Asked Questions About Ebola

We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ebola

Several outbreaks or epidemics of ebola virus disease (EVD) has taken place since 1976, most in Western African region. Currently (August 2014) one outbreak of ebola is going on in the same region, which started in Sierra Leone. We all should be aware of ebola virus disease, because it has high mortality among infected individuals.

1. How many types of ebola viruses can cause disease?

There are five types of ebola viruses that can cause EVD, and they are Bundibugyo ebolavirus (BDBV), Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV), Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV), Taï Forest ebolavirus (TAFV) and Reston ebolavirus (RESTV). Among them Reston ebolavirus (RESTV) is found in China and The Philippines and usually do not cause death of infected persons.

2. What are the signs and symptoms of ebola virus disease (EVD)?

Signs and symptoms of ebola virus disease (EVD) are non-specific and like any other viral fever, which makes diagnosis difficult and lead to high fatality, due to late diagnosis. The symptoms include acute onset of fever, serious weakness, muscle pain, sore throat and headache. These symptoms are followed by diarrhea, vomiting and skin rash. There is impairment of kidney and liver functions. There may also be external and internal bleeding.

3. How long infected persons remain infectious and how long is incubation period of ebola virus disease?

The incubation period (the time interval between entry of the virus and appearance of first symptom) of ebola virus disease is varies and range from 2 days to 21 days. An infected person may remain infectious several days to weeks after recovery from illness. In one case a healthcare worker was found to have the virus 61 days after appearance of first symptom. Semen can contain virus up to 3 weeks after recovery and during this time sexual intercourse should be avoided, to prevent transmission.

4. How ebola virus disease is diagnosed?

The symptoms of ebola virus disease are non-specific and does not help in diagnosis. There are several lab tests to diagnose ebola virus disease, such as

  • Antibody captures ELISA
  • Serum neutralization test
  • Antigen detection test
  • Reverse transcriptase PCR assay
  • Isolation of ebola virus
  • Examination under electron microscope

5. What are common modes of transmission of ebola virus?

The mode of transmission is direct contact and exchange of body fluids (such as blood, sweat, semen, saliva or any organ) from infected individual or infected animals (dead or alive). It does not spread via droplet or by cough and sneeze.

Some important points about ebola virus disease:

  • Ebola virus disease has high fatality rate, up to 90%
  • Ebola virus disease outbreak mainly occurs in remote areas of Western Africa rainforest regions
  • The initial source of an outbreak of ebola virus disease is usually animal such as fruit bats, after that the virus spread by human-human transmission
  • No specific treatment is available and no licensed vaccine for ebola virus disease is available at present


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