1. MEANING OF EBOLA FEVER OR VIRUS
Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is a disease of humans and other primates caused by an ebolavirus. Symptoms start two days to three weeks after contracting the virus, with a fever, sore throat, muscle pain, and headaches. Typically nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea follow, along with decreased functioning of the liver and kidneys. Around this time, affected people may begin to bleed both within the body and externally.
The first known incidents of the Ebola virus were in 1976. There were two simultaneous outbreaks in Nzara in Sudan and Yambuku in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). The name of the Ebola river near Yambuku was given to the new epidemic.
Outbreaks have mainly occured in remote villages in Central and West Africa, close to tropical rainforests.
3. BRIEF HISTORY OF FEVER RESERVIOUR
Bats are considered the most likely natural reservoir of the Ebola virus (EBOV); plants, arthropods, and birds have also been considered. Bats were known to reside in the cotton factory in which the first cases for the 1976 and 1979 outbreaks were employed, and they have also been implicated in Marburg virus infections in 1975 and 1980. Of 24 plant species and 19 vertebrate species experimentally inoculated with EBOV, only bats became infected. The absence of clinical signs in these bats is characteristic of a reservoir species. In a 2002–2003 survey of 1,030 animals including 679 bats from Gabon and the Republic of the Congo, 13 fruit bats were found to contain EBOV RNA fragments. As of 2005, three types of fruit bats (Hypsignathus monstrosus, Epomops franqueti, and Myonycteris torquata) have been identified as being in contact with EBOV. They are now suspected to represent the EBOV reservoir hosts. Antibodies against Ebola Zaire and Reston viruses have been found in fruit bats in Bangladesh, thus identifying potential virus hosts and signs of the filoviruses in Asia.
Between 1976 and 1998, in 30,000 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods sampled from outbreak regions, no ebolavirus was detected apart from some genetic traces found in six rodents (Mus setulosus and Praomys) and one shrew (Sylvisorex ollula) collected from the Central African Republic. Traces of EBOV were detected in the carcasses of gorillas and chimpanzees during outbreaks in 2001 and 2003, which later became the source of human infections. However, the high lethality from infection in these species makes them unlikely as a natural reservoir.
Transmission between natural reservoir and humans is rare, and outbreaks are usually traceable to a single case where an individual has handled the carcass of gorilla, chimpanzee, or duiker. Fruit bats are also eaten by people in parts of West Africa where they are smoked, grilled, or made into a spicy soup.
4. CAUSAVATIVE AGENT
EVD is caused by four of five viruses classified in the genus Ebolavirus, family Filoviridae, order Mononegavirales. The four disease-causing viruses are Bundibugyo virus (BDBV), Sudan virus (SUDV), Taï Forest virus (TAFV), and one called simply, Ebola virus (EBOV, formerly Zaire Ebola virus)). Ebola virus is the sole member of the Zaire ebolavirus species, and the most dangerous of the known Ebola disease causing viruses, as well as being responsible for the largest number of outbreaks. The fifth virus, Reston virus (RESTV), is not thought to be disease-causing in humans. The five Ebola viruses are closely related to the Marburg viruses.
5. MODE OF TRANSMISSION
The virus may be acquired upon contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected animal (commonly monkeys or fruit bats). Spread through the air has not been documented in the natural environment. Fruit bats are believed to carry and spread the virus without being affected. Once human infection occurs, the disease may spread between people as well. Male survivors may be able to transmit the disease via semen for nearly two months. In order to make the diagnosis, typically other diseases with similar symptoms such as malaria, cholera, and other viral hemorrhagic fevers are first excluded. To confirm the diagnosis, blood samples are tested for viral antibodies, viral RNA, or the virus itself.
6. PREVALANCE RATE
The disease prevalence rate is in both Humoral and Cellular Immunity of man and as such body contacts of any such with an infected person, animal or object should be avoided.
7. FATALITY RATE
Ebola Virus Disease outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%.
8. PREVATIVE MEASURE
Since no none cure of the diseases have been found a number of preventive measures as outline below can be followed.
Ebola viruses are contagious, with prevention predominantly involving behavior changes, proper full-body personal protective equipment, and disinfection. Techniques to avoid infection involve not contacting infected blood or secretions, including from those who are dead. This involves suspecting and diagnosing the disease early and using standard precautions for all patients in the healthcare setting. Recommended measures when caring for those who are infected include isolating them, sterilizing equipment, and wearing protective clothing including masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles. Hand washing is important but can be difficult in areas where there is not even enough water for drinking.
Due to lack of proper equipment and hygienic practices, large-scale epidemics have occurred mostly in poor, isolated areas without modern hospitals or well-educated medical staff. Traditional burial rituals, especially those requiring embalming of bodies, should be discouraged or modified. Airline crews, who fly to these areas of the world, are taught to identify Ebola and isolate anyone who has symptoms.
Quarantine, also known as enforced isolation, is usually effective in decreasing spread. Governments often quarantine areas where the disease is occurring or individuals who may be infected. In the United States, the law allows quarantine of those infected with Ebola. The lack of roads and transportation may help slow the disease in Africa. During the 2014 outbreak, Liberia closed schools.
No vaccine is currently available for humans. The most promising candidates are DNA vaccines or vaccines derived from adenoviruses, vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus (VSIV) or filovirus-like particles (VLPs) because these candidates could protect nonhuman primates from ebolavirus-induced disease. DNA vaccines, adenovirus-based vaccines, and VSIV-based vaccines have entered clinical trials.
Vaccines have protected nonhuman primates. Immunization takes six months, which impedes the counter-epidemic use of the vaccines. Searching for a quicker onset of effectiveness, in 2003, a vaccine using an adenoviral (ADV) vector carrying the Ebola spike protein was tested on crab-eating macaques. Twenty-eight days later, they were challenged with the virus and remained resistant. A vaccine based on attenuated recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) vector carrying either the Ebola glycoprotein or the Marburg glycoprotein in 2005 protected nonhuman primates, opening clinical trials in humans. The study by October completed the first human trial, over three months giving three vaccinations safely inducing an immune response. Individuals for a year were followed, and, in 2006, a study testing a faster-acting, single-shot vaccine began; this new study was completed in 2008. Trying the vaccine on a strain of Ebola that more resembles one that infects humans is the next step.
On 6 December 2011, the development of a successful vaccine against Ebola for mice was reported. Unlike the predecessors, it can be freeze-dried and thus stored for long periods in wait for an outbreak. An experimental vaccine made by researchers at Canada’s national laboratory in Winnipeg was used, in 2009, to pre-emptively treat a German scientist who might have been infected during a lab accident. However, actual EBOV infection could never be demonstrated without a doubt. Experimentally, recombinant vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus (VSIV) expressing the glycoprotein of EBOV or SUDV has been used successfully in nonhuman primate models as post-exposure prophylaxis.
9. YOUR OWN SUGGESTION ON HOW TO CURB THE SPREAD OF THE FEVER IN NIGERIA.
There is no specific treatment for the disease. Efforts to help those who are infected are supportive and include giving either oral rehydration therapy (slightly sweet and salty water to drink) or intravenous fluids. The disease has a high mortality rate, often killing between 50% and 90% of those infected with the virus. EVD was first identified in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The disease typically occurs in outbreaks in tropical regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. From 1976 (when it was first identified) through 2013, fewer than 1,000 people per year have been infected. The largest outbreak to date is the ongoing 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak, which is affecting Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria. As of August 2014, more than 1,750 suspected cases have been reported. Efforts are ongoing to develop a vaccine; however, none yet exists.
Lastly my own suggestion is that the Federal Government should increase the awareness and sensitization of the disease in the country. Also infested persons in the country should be isolated for the time being and treated immediately.
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