Viral Hemorrhagic Fever and Ebola River

Topics: Ebola, Viral hemorrhagic fever, Blood Pages: 5 (1786 words) Published: December 18, 2005
Ebola is one of the most deadly infectious diseases that we have discovered and researched. Its full name is Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever. This disease is caused by several Ebola viruses (Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever). It was discovered in 1976 and named after the Ebola River in Northern Congo, where it was first found (Rupp 48). There are 4 species of Ebola which are Ivory Coast ebolavirus, Reston ebolavirus, Sudan ebolavirus, and Zaire ebolavirus (WHO). Ebola is part of the group of diseases called viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHF). All viral hemorrhagic fevers begin with fever and muscle aches. Ebola is put in the Filoviridae family. It occurs in humans and other primates in whom there have been fifteen hundred cases identified, 80% of which have died from the disease (Ebola). It is most common in Central America and causes death in 50-90% of all clinically ill patients (WHO). When magnified several thousand times by a microscope, Ebola looks like threads (filaments) (Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever). Ebola is a disease that breaks you down from the inside out. It's frightening and deadly.

Ebola brings gruesome symptoms. At first the disease is less intense with sudden fever, weakness, muscle pain, headaches, and sore throat. But it progresses into a vicious disease causing vomiting, diarrhea, rash, limited kidney and liver functions and sometimes both internal and external bleeding and shock from such blood loss (Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever). Other sources report massive internal bleeding (Rupp 48), chills, nausea (Interim Guidance For Humanitarian Workers), intense weakness, low counts of white blood cells and platelets as well as liver enzymes (WHO), uncontrolled vomiting, dizziness, trouble breathing, bleed from nose, mouth, and rectum, joint aches, and bloody diarrhea, muscle/joint/abdominal pain, severe weakness/exhaustion (Ebola). Symptoms often appear suddenly and the fever is usually at least one hundred one degrees Fahrenheit (thirty eight point eight degrees Celsius). Other secondary symptoms can be low blood pressure, red eyes from swollen blood vessels, red spots on the skin from subcutaneous bleeding, fast but weak pulse, and damage to organs such as the kidney or liver from co-localized necrosis and proteinuria (the occurrence of proteins in the urine). The incubation period is usually two to twenty one days. Sometimes, before an epidemic occurs, doctors misdiagnose patients, suggesting malaria, typhoid fever, dysentery or other more common bacterial diseases. The time from the first sign of symptoms to date of death is usually between seven and fourteen days (Ebola).

Ebola is most commonly transmitted through close person to person contact with an ill patient. It is also transmitted through contact with infected blood, body fluids, organs or semen (Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever), body tissue, unsterilized needles or other equipment (Rupp 48), and direct contact with secretions (WHO). The transmission of Ebola often occurs within health-care facilities. It happens often to hospital-care workers and family members who care for the infected person with Ebola. The transmission of Ebola has also been linked to the re-use of unsterilized needles in the treatment of the patients; this happens often in countries such as Zaire and Sudan because they are still developing and their health-care is underfinanced. Although, it is safe to say that medical facilities inside the United States of America do not re-use needles (Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever). Many times syringes are re-used also, which can transmit the disease (Table Ebola). Ebola can spread form person to person contact involving sexual intercourse/contact. Victims of Ebola who have survived and recuperated can still have the virus in there genital secretions for a short time after recovery. This poses a threat to their partner (Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever). One way of transmission that many do not think about is the transmission from a dead body to a person...

Bibliography: "Ebola." Wikipedia. 02 Dec. 2005. Wikipedia. 02 Dec. 2005
"Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever." Directors of Health Promotion and Education. 02 Dec. 2005 .
"Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever." 2005. World Health Organization. 01 Dec. 2005
"Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever." Special Pathogens Branch. 26 Nov. 2003. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. 01 Dec. 2005
"Interim Guidance for Humanitarian Workers." Special Pathogens Branch. 14 Apr. 2005. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 01 Dec. 2005 .
Rupp, Jennifer A. "Ebola virus." World Book Encyclopedia. ed. 1990.
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