Ebola Outbreak Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Taking Preventive Measures

The World Health Organisation (WHO) called it as “a severe, often fatal illness in humans.”

It has taken a causality of more than 700 people in West Africa.

It has led to the closure of schools in Liberia.

The latest virus that is making headlines and causing grave concern with its rapid spread is the EVD – the Ebola Virus Disease. Ever since Ebola virus was first diagnosed in Guinea this year, it has taken a causality of more than 700 people across Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Earlier known as the Ebola haemorrhagic fever, this virus was first reported way back in 1976 in Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. The latest, dangerous outbreak of Ebola virus has given rise to fears that the deadly virus could transmit from West Africa to other regions.

The WHO has insisted that strong measures are required to control the epidemic, else undetected transmissions would raise manifold the risks of it spreading far beyond Africa.

The director of operations for Médecins Sans Frontières or Doctors Without Borders; the French-founded non-governmental organization; Bart Janssens has said, “With the appearance of new sites in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, there is a real risk of it spreading to other areas.”

A report by USNews, July 31, said, “In a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention press briefing Thursday, Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the agency, says 50 staff members, including health communications experts and epidemiologists, are being sent to affected areas. While he stresses the virus shows little threat to the U.S., he says it is worsening in West Africa. Quoting Dr Frieden, the report said, “This is the largest most complex [Ebola] outbreak that we know if in history,” adding that “it may take as much as six months to contain”.

 

How Ebola spreads?

It is believed that virus resides in fruit bats that affect people living in tropical rainforests. It was transmitted to humans through close contact with the sweat, blood, secretions and other bodily fluids of infected humans and infected animals such as fruit bats, monkeys, chimpanzees, and gorillas that are found dead or sick in tropical rainforests.

Symptoms begin with fever, and muscle pain and mount to diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding (both internal and external). People who are most prone to this fatal virus are the health workers. Reportedly two American aid workers have contracted the deadly virus and a Liberian doctor has died.

Treatment

While there is no vaccine or cure available, taking precautions is essential to combat the virus’ spread.  The virus spreads only through infectious body fluids – blood, saliva, sweat, etc.  Avoid affected areas and avoid people showing symptoms such as internal and external bleeding, high fever, muscle pain and vomiting.

Ensure a clean surrounding

The spread of the Ebola virus and other virulent viruses again throws the spotlight on the necessity for all of us to ensure that we breathe clean air, keep our surroundings healthy and ensure we have taken adequate protection. Especially when we are in a sort of captive situation where there is not much movement, such as while traveling by air, it is always safer to carry along personal air purifiers.

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