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Ebola Virus Epidemic In 2014 Questions: 1.What is the Ebola Virus and its Characteristics.   2.Where is this Organism naturally found?   3.Discuss the Symptoms of Ebola Infection   4.Measures to Prevent Infection by Ebola virus, including measures put into place to prevent and control outbreaks of the kind reported above.     Answers: Biomedical Science Name University The large percentage of patients that died following an Ebola virus epidemic in 2014 was alarming. Although the virus has been known since 1976, the poor medical facilities and an unprepared public health system in West African countries led to the fast spread of the disease and thousands of lives were lost. Out of 2615 confirmed cases, 1427 deaths were reported (Cheng, Li, & Yu, 2014). The Ebola virus (CDC, ebola/, 2016). (kff, 2014). 1.Ebola Virus And Its Characteristics The Ebola virus is membrane- enveloped virus that belongs to Filoviridae. It is a single stranded RNA virus. Fruit bats are understood to be the natural reservoirs of the virus that can cause haemorrhagic fever in humans and primates. The levels of the Ebola RNA increase logarithmically in the infected patients while the illness is in the acute phase. Diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding may be observed in patients with infection. Confirmation of Ebola virus is done through cell culture in Vero E6 African Green monkey kidney cells followed by visualization through fluorescence microscopy. The culture in laboratory requires biosafety 2.Epidemiology Of The Ebola Virus. The Ebola virus is naturally found in fruit bats and can infect humans when they come in contact with infected primates. At times consumption of meat of an infected primate may also cause infection. The infection occurs through contact with body fluids of the patient through mucosal surface, needles contaminated with the virus or abrasions (Lee & Saphire, 2009). The latest epidemic due to The Ebola virus occurred in Guinea and spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia. Healthcare workers from Spain, The United Kingdom and the USA were also infected (Arima & Shimada, 2015). What makes the epidemic alarming is that in 50-90% of the infected people it proved to be fatal. There is currently no vaccine or treatment available against the infection. Although immunological and pharmacotherapy treatment options are being tested in animals with some success (Kilgore, Grabenstein, Salim, & Rybak, 2015). With globalisation, people travel across continents frequently and this puts citizens all over the world at a high risk. The medical experts are still trying to understand the measures that we need to take to control an epidemic once a human being is infected. Many healthcare workers died due to transmission of the virus while they were treating the patients during the 2014 epidemic in West Africa (Mello, Merritt, & Halpern, 2015).   3.Symptoms Of Ebola Infection It may take 2 to 21 days for symptoms to appear after infection occurs. A person with symptoms can pass on the infection but someone who is not showing any symptoms but is infected cannot pass on infection to others. Sudden fever with considerable fatigue is the first symptom. Headache, muscle pain and sore throat may be seen in patients. Vomiting and diarrhea follow, patients may complain of rash. Impaired kidney and liver function are followed by internal and external bleeding. Bleeding of gums and blood in stools may be observed. Laboratory diagnosis of blood samples yields low white blood cell count and low platelet count, liver enzymes are usually elevated also (WHO, 2017). 4.Measures To Prevent Infection By Ebola Virus The risk of transmission of the Ebola virus occurs due to wildlife to human transmission, human to human transmission, due to possibility of sexual transmission and heightened transmission risks during an outbreak. Transmission from patient to healthcare workers is possible and strict prevention measures have to be adhered to and are preventable (Ogbuagu & Ogbuagu, 2014). When contact with fruit bats or monkeys and other primates is necessary, precautions should be taken by wearing gloves, aprons and other protective gear (CDC, human-transmission.html, 2015). If consuming meat, it should be thoroughly cooked. Family members and healthcare workers who are in close contact with Ebola patients should prevent contact with body fluids. Gloves and protective clothing should be used when working in close proximity with the patient. Even after a hospital visit to a patient hands should be washed thoroughly. Similarly, care givers at home should maintain proper hygiene when working with the patient. According to the recommendations of WHO, male patients who have survived an Ebola infection should practice safe sex for up to 12 months after the onset of Ebola infection and appearance of symptoms. The semen should test negative for the Ebola virus (WHO, 2017). In conclusion, studies on finding treatment and vaccines against the Ebola virus are ongoing. A strong public health response to an epidemic is required to minimise fatalities when the virus causes human infection.   References Arima, Y., & Shimada, T. (2015). Epidemiological situation of Ebola virus disease in West Africa. Uirusu, 65(1):47-54. CDC. (2015). human-transmission.html. Retrieved from CDC. (2016). ebola/. Retrieved from Cheng, Y., Li, Y., & Yu, H. (2014). Ebola virus disease: general characteristics, thoughts, and perspectives. Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, 27(8):651-3. kff. (2014). ebola-characteristics-and-comparisons-to-other-infectious-diseases/. Retrieved from Kilgore, P., Grabenstein, J., Salim, A., & Rybak, M. (2015). Treatment of ebola virus disease. Pharmacotherapy, 35(1):43-53. Lee, J. E., & Saphire, E. O. (2009). Ebolavirus glycoprotein structure and mechanism of entry. Future Virology, 4(6), 621–635. Mello, M., Merritt, M., & Halpern, S. (2015). Supporting Those Who Go to Fight Ebola. PLoS Medicine, 12(1): e1001781. Ogbuagu, O., & Ogbuagu, A. (2014). Curbing Ebola infections among healthcare workers in West Africa: unconventional strategies needed. The Pan African Medical Journal, 19:320. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2014.19.320.5716. WHO. (2017). factsheets/fs103/en/. Retrieved from

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