While modern medicine has done a lot to eradicate many diseases from the Earth, there are still some diseases that are killing a number of people. One of these diseases is Ebola. This disease is rare, but it is very deadly for the people that catch it. Ebola causes bleeding on both the inside and the outside of the body. Ebola damages a person’s immune system as well as the internal organs. It also decreases the blood ability to clot and stop from bleeding out. Up to 90% of people that are infected with this disease die from it.
How Does a Person Contract Ebola?
Ebola is not as contagious as the common cold. It is not airborne. A person can get Ebola by having skin to skin contact or coming in contact with the bodily fluids of a person that is already infected. They can even get this disease from animals that it infection. Common animals that carry this disease include monkeys and fruit bats. Even people that bury an infected person once they are dead are at risk for contacting the disease if they come into contact with their skin. Ebola can also be spread by contact with infected needles and other surfaces an infected person was on. Ebola is not spread through the air, water, or food.
Symptoms of Ebola
In the beginning stages of this disease, a person may think they have the flu or similar illness. It can take anywhere from 2 to 21 days for the symptoms to start to appear. Ebola can cause a person to have a high fever, headache, muscle aches and pains, a sore throat, the feeling of weakness, stomach pain, and a lack of desire to eat. As the disease progresses, a person will notice that the body will begin to bleed. Blood will come out of the eyes, ears, and nose. The internal organs will also begin to bleed. Some people may vomit blood, have blood in their stool, or have rashes on the body. A blood test is often needed to determine if a person has this disease.
There is not cure for this disease. Scientists and medical professionals are working together to try to develop a cure. There are some treatments that can be performed to help ease the pain. There is an experimental serum in the works to destroy cells in the body that are infected with Ebola. Doctors can help treat the pain and symptoms by having a person increase their fluid intake and increasing their intake of electrolytes. A person can also be put on oxygen treatments. They can take medications to help steady blood pressure. For some people, they may be able to get a blood transfusion to help the body retain as much blood as possible.
While there is no medical vaccine or treatment to prevent Ebola, there are some things that can be done to decrease the chances of contracting this disease. It is recommended to avoid traveling to parts of the world where Ebola is still in existence. This includes much of Africa. If health care workers are treating people with Ebola, there are some precautions that they need to take. This includes wearing masks, gloves, and goggles when they are near people that may have contracted this disease. It is recommended that a person should wash their hands with soap and water often especially if they are in an area known for Ebola. If a person becomes infected or starts to show symptoms of Ebola, it is important to quarantine them as soon as possible. While the person may not like this, they may be able to infect thousands of others. If a person who was infected with Ebola dies, all contact with the body should be avoided. If the body has to be touched gloves, a mask, and other protective items should be worn. The body has to be burnt or it can continue to infect others.
The continent of Africa has seen an increase in the number of Ebola cases. The country of Liberia recent had an outbreak. According to the World Health Organization Liberia is one of the counties that is hit the hardest by this disease. Liberia has the highest numbers of deaths due to this disease since 1976. In the past year, there have been 4,700 people that are dead from contracting Ebola. From the month of August to September there have been 300 to 400 new cases each week. Many hospitals and health workers left the country and shut down because they were too frightened to by infected people. The last known person who was infected with Ebola died, and the body has to be burned. Liberia has been free of Ebola for 42 days with no new cases. People are still cautioned when visiting this country.
While scientists are not exactly sure how humans first came in contact with this disease, they suspected that it was due to contact with animals. When an animal eats a piece of fruit, that has been touched by a bat this disease they can become infected. When a person eats the animals or in some countries the bat, they also become infected with this disease. If one animal is infected the entire population in which they often live becomes infected as well. Even dogs that are domesticated can be infected with Ebola. Dogs often do not show symptoms of this disease, but they may be able to spread it to humans. If people native to Africa do eat monkeys, the meat should be cooked properly, and they need to handle it properly.
Ebola is a serious disease that is able to kill thousands of people in a short period of time. This disease is not to be taken lightly by any means. While Ebola is not common in the United States if a person travels to a region of the world that is known for Ebola they may still be able to infect others. Every precaution has to be taken to ensure that Ebola is contained and one day complete wiped out.