Monday, October 6, 2014

Ebola Response and Resources


Center for African Studies - UI, Ebola Response and Resources Blog

In this blog the Center for African Studies intends to provide information and news about the ongoing Ebola outbreak and encourage participants to join in discussions and post comments. Because of our commitment to Africa, we know that it is crucial for people living in affected countries as well as in the US to have timely, accurate news about the virus. We recognize that UI community efforts could save lives and welcome your input.

To learn more about the Center for African Studies at the University of Illinois, please click here.


Background information on the Ebola outbreak

The following information was drawn from the WHO's website. To obtain further information about the Ebola virus and the most recent outbreak, please click here.

To view the latest situation report from the WHO, please click here.


What is Ebola?

According to the WHO, "Ebola is a virus disease known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever. The virus is transmitted from wild animals to people. It is thought that fruit bats of the pteropodidae family are the virus hosts."

How Ebola is transmitted?
  • Close contact through close contact with the blood secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals and humans, or surfaces that are contaminated with these fluids
  • People remains infectious as long as their blood and body fluids (semen, breast milk or any other fluids) contain the virus. Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen up to 7 weeks after the recovery. 

What are the symptoms of Ebola?
  • Incubation period (time from infection to display of symptoms): 2 to 21 days. 
  • Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms.
  • Fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. 
  • Followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.

Prevention
  • Avoid contact with infect wildlife.
  • Avoid contact with the bodily fluids of people displaying Ebola symptoms.
  • Use gloves and appropriate personal protective equipment when taking care of ill patients at home.
  • Wash hands thoroughly after visiting patients in hospital, as well as after taking care of patients at home.
  • Avoid touching the body of the dead infected with Ebola.
Treatment
  • The Ebola virus currently has no proven treatment
  • Symptoms of Ebola are treated rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids and other remedies to improve chances of survival.
  • Research is currently being conducted on blood products, immune therapies and drug therapies as a potential response to Ebola
  • 2 potential vaccines are currently being tested



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