Ebola virus disease as the name indicates is a viral disease caused by Ebola virus which destroys the blood clotting process of immune system of infected individual hence leading to severe uncontrolled bleeding. Ebola virus disease is deadly and rare pandemic disease.
Fruit bats eat fruit and then these partially eaten fruits drop from trees and land animals eat these infected fruits and through this way infection travels to animals. These animals when eaten by human beings near forest region lead to transfer of disease to mammals.
Age/sex prevalence of Ebola virus disease (EVD)/ Ebola hemorrhagic fever(EHF)
Individuals of any age or sex can be affected by Ebola virus disease.
As Ebola virus infection is seen in African region most of the times, blacks are more commonly affected. Otherwise Ebola virus disease can affect individuals of any race.
Ebola virus disease is caused by Ebola virus found in fruit bats and monkeys in forest and transferred to humans by direct blood contact of infected animal.
Humans catch infection by coming in contact with blood or body fluids of infected virus.
It is found that fruit bat carry Ebola virus without being affected.
There are four forms of Ebola virus that cause Ebola virus disease and are as follows
• Sudan virus
• Tai forest virus
• Zaire Ebola virus
• Bundibugyo virus
How Ebola virus enters human body, mode of transmission
Exact cause is still not known but contact with the bodily fluid of infected animals is the transmission.
Secondly transmission is from man to man through blood or bodily fluids of an infected person.
Thirdly by direct contact with contaminated medical equipment’s particularly syringes.
As the symptoms appear very quickly after getting infected so it becomes easy to detect the disease and hence limiting the person’s ability to spread the disease become easy.
Even the dead bodies of infected individuals are disposed in a safe manner.
Transmission through air route has not been detected till now.
Symptoms of Ebola virus disease start appearing from 2 days to two weeks of getting infected.
Ebola virus infection starts with symptoms like flu which include
• Muscle pains
• Abdominal pain
• Chest pain
• Sore throat
• Shortness of breath
• Difficulty in swallowing
On skin there is appearance of maculopapular rash only in about 50% of cases.
In next 50-60% of cases bleeding occur from mucous membranes and even from injured parts. Bleeding time starts on about 5-7 days from appearance of first symptom.
Internal bleeding occurs in form of vomit with blood and redness of eyes.
Internal bleeding in skin appears in the form of purpura, ecchymoses, hematomas, petechiae.
Hemorrhages occur because of impaired blood clotting process.
If the patient does not recover in due time then other internal organs may fail and death occur due multiple organ dysfunction syndromes.
Basic blood tests help in diagnosing the Ebola virus infection.
Levels of aspirate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase are high.
Tissue culture done
Serological testing for antibody and antigen help in confirming the infection
Antigen detection ELISA test helps to identify Ebola virus antigens.
There is no fixed cure for Ebola virus infection but supportive care helps patient a lot.
Health care workers can prevent themselves from infection by wearing masks, gloves and goggles.
• Complete isolation of patient from healthy individuals.
• Safe dispose of dead bodies of infected individuals.
• Medical equipments used for infected individuals should be destroyed safely.
• Fluids and electrolyte balance of infected individual
• Blood transfusions
• Blood pressure medication
There is dry, swollen dark red appearance of throat. Patient is unable to retain anything in stomach and vomits out blood. All excretions are dark in color. Patient has fever with bloody sweat. There is bleeding from every part of body.
Hemorrhagic tendency is also very marked in this remedy. Patient cannot bear tight clothing.
Phosphorus is also among the good remedies in case of degeneration of blood vessels, every tissue and organ of body. Phosphorus is best suited to patient who appears tall, slender, narrow chest, thin and transparent skin. Patient is thirsty for very cold water.
Debility, exhaustion and restlessness are marked symptoms while prescribing this remedy. There is unquenchable thirst. Discharges are offensive.
It is a valuable remedy in case of hemorrhages. Blood is bright red. There is hemorrhage from every part of body.
Suited to patient who is fretful, impatient, unwilling to answer questions and in a hurry. There is bleeding from skin.