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Saturday, 11 October 2014

All About Ebola Virus

Since the beginning of the epidemic in 2013, approximately 50% of patients died , or 4,000 deaths according to the World Health Organization to 10 October 2014 Since 1976, depending on the strain, the morbidity rate has fluctuated between 25% and 90% . A diagnosis made ​​at the onset of symptoms improves the chances of patients , although there is no effective treatment today. In hospitals, patients are placed in isolation. The management of possible cardiac arrest or constant rehydration makes them more likely to survive.

Ebola Virus

Ebola: which countries at risk?

For now, it is the West Africa suffers mainly from the epidemic since 2013 The Liberia experienced more than 2,200 deaths, nearly three times more than its neighbor, Sierra Leone . The Guinea has also seen more than 700 deaths. Other African countries have also been affected (DRC, Nigeria) including Senegal, where the only reported case to survive. Five Americans, two Spaniards and a French nurse were infected in Africa. The latter dealt with France , is now healed. To date, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not established restriction of movement to the most affected countries , but recommends the greatest vigilance.

What is the origin of the Ebola virus?

In 1976 a young Belgian doctor, Peter Piot, examines the blood of a nun. The woman died of a mysterious disease in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo. The sample was sent to him by another Belgian doctor, who operates in the remote community of Yambuku along the Ebola River. Fever, bleeding: 300 people die in a few weeks in the area. Dr. Piot identifies who is responsible: a then unknown virus. Later, we discover that it was the bats that act as a reservoir for the disease, but that it can be transmitted to primates, pigs or humans. The current outbreak has been reported for the first time in 2013.

What are the symptoms of the disease?

Between HIV infection and the onset of symptoms, it may take 2 to 21 days . The person is then not contagious. Then the patient has a fever (at least 38.6 ° C) and severe fatigue. The muscle aches and headaches or sore throats are soon completed in a second phase, abdominal pain and persistent hiccups. About 3 days later, the patient is taken vomiting, diarrhea . In half the cases, it is prone to bleeding: gums, eyes, nose, stool ... Death can occur on average between the sixth and sixteenth day after the onset of symptoms.

How do you get Ebola?

Not so easily. The virus is spread by direct physical contact with body fluids of an infected person (vomit, urine, blood, feces, breast milk, semen ... sweat, however, would be less contagious). In other words, contamination occurs by touching the skin of a wearer of sick or dead virus or contaminated liquids. As the disease progresses, the person is contagious. Unlike the flu, airborne transmission was never identified . This explains why the disease is most commonly spread within families or relatives.

Are there a treatment against Ebola?

For now, scientists are still in the experimental stage . Two sera show promise and have been tested on patients. The Zmapp is an "artificial serum" antibody taken from mice compound. These prevent the virus from infecting cells and thus replicate in the body. Another track, the TKM-Ebola , which addresses three of the seven proteins comprising the virus. A well-treated patient survived American (it is not known whether this is due to the drug). Preventive side, no vaccine has yet been approved by the WHO . However, a Canadian laboratory tested VSV-EBOV animals with very promising results. The race between science and the disease advances every day.

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