Ebola virus-An overview

Ebola virus disease

Key facts about Ebola virus

  • Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
  • EVD outbreaks may have a case fatality rate up to 90%.
  • EVD outbreaks arise mainly in far-off villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
  • The virus is transmitted or passed to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
  • Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family can be considered or believed to be the natural host of the Ebola virus.
  • Severely ill patients require intensive helpful care. No approved precise treatment or vaccine is available for use in people or animals.

Ebola VirusEbola Virus was first appeared in 1976 in 2 immediate outbreaks, first in Nzara, Sudan, and second in Yambuku, in Congo. The virus was first found in a village situated near the Ebola River, the disease gets its name from this river only.

Genus Ebolavirus is 1 of 3 members of the Filoviridae family (filovirus), along with genus Marburgvirus and genus Cuevavirus. Genus Ebolavirus constitutes 5 different species:

  • Bundibugyo ebolavirus (BDBV)
  • Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV)
  • Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV)
  • Reston ebolavirus (RESTV)
  • Tai Forest ebolavirus (TAFV).

EBOV, SUDV, and BDBV have been linked with huge EVD eruption in Africa, but Reston ebolavirus and Tai Forest ebolavirus have not. The Reston ebolavirus species, originated in Philippines and the humans Republic of China, can contaminate humans, but no infection or death in humans from this species has been reported to date.

How is it transmitted?

Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, organs, secretions or other body fluids of infected animals. In Africa, disease or illness has been recognized through the handling of infected chimpanzees, forest antelope, fruit bats, gorillas, monkeys and porcupines found sick or dead in the rainforest.

ebola virusEbola then spreads in the community through human-to-human transmission, with disease or infection arising from direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, organs, secretions or other body fluids of contaminated people, and indirect contact with surroundings infected with such fluids. Funeral rite in which weepers have direct connection with the body of the deceased person can also play a role in the transmission of the Ebola Virus. Those men’s who had recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness.

Health-care workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or authentic EVD. This has aroused through close contact with patients when infection control precautions are not strictly practiced.

Among workers in contact with monkeys or pigs infected with Reston ebolavirus, numerous infections have been recognized in people who were clinically asymptomatic. Thus, Reston ebolavirus appears less competent of generating disease in humans than other Ebola species.

However, the only available evidence available comes from healthy adult males. It would be early to decide the health effects of the virus to all population type, such as immune compromised persons or people with basic medical situation, children and pregnant women. More studies of RESTV are needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn about the pathogenicity and virulence of this virus in humans.

Who is most likely to get infected?

illustration-of-the-ebola-virusThe condition is contagious, so migratory populations are most likely to get infected and transmit the virus. Amusingly, this situation is also a hospital acquired infection and is commonly transmitted to hospital employees. Apart from that, high threat individuals comprise diabetics, patients with kidney and liver failure, immune compromised patients and HIV infected people.