Having the Ebola Virus Disease

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My disease is the Ebola Virus Disease, also known as EVD for short. Ebola is a virus that is rare disease that affects mainly people and primates like monkeys, chimpanzees, etcetera.  The first case of Ebola was found in 1976 near the area of the Ebola River, or what is now known as the Democratic Republic Of Congo. The Ebola virus was discovered by Dr. Peter Piot, a Scientist from Belgium. While he was working in a lab at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, Piot received a cheap plastic thermos containing two vials of blood and some melted ice. Also inside was a handwritten note from a Belgian doctor based in Zaire (presently the Democratic Republic of Congo). The note explained that the blood had been taken from a Belgian nun working in Zaire. She and two hundred others in a remote region of Zaire had become seriously sick with a mysterious illness (Paoli). During the 1976 outbreak, 280 out of the 318 people with cases of Ebola passed away making a fatal ratio of 88%, one of the most deadly outbreaks in history (Public Health Intelligence). Since the 1976 outbreak, there have been 1800 additional cases of Ebola found across Africa with 1087 casualties, as of 2012. Of these 1800 cases, 37%, 669,  of them were based in the Democratic Republic of Congo; of the 1087 deaths, 44%, 485, of them were based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (PunditFact).

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When someone is first diagnosed with ebola, the symptoms are common symptoms one would find when they have a cold or the flu. The symptoms include high fever, headache,soreness in the throat, join and/or muscle pains, feeling of weakness, stomach pains, and a loss of appetite. These symptoms can be felt 2-21 days after being diagnosed (WebMD). As the virus begins to get worse, it causes issues inside of one’s body. The person may experience internal bleeding, along with bleeding from the ears, eyes, rectum, and nose. They may even begin coughing up or vomiting blood, have bloody diarrhea, and get a rash (WebMD).

The Ebola disease is caused by a variety of viruses: the Ebola virus (a species of Zaire ebolavirus), the Sudan virus (a species of Sudan ebolavirus), the Ta?? Forest virus (a species of Ta?? Forest ebolavirus, formerly known as C??te d’Ivoire ebolavirus), the Bundibugyo virus, the Reston Virus, and the Bombali virus (CDC). Only the Ebola Virus, Sudan Virus, the Ta?? Forest Virus, and Bundibugyo Virus are known to give people diseases. The remaining two viruses, the Reston and Bombali, are rare cases. The Reston Virus is commonly known for transferring diseases to nonhuman primates and pigs, but not frequent in giving them to humans. It is unclear if the Bombali Virus, which was recently identified in bats, causes disease in either animals or people (CDC).

Some scientists believe people obtain the Ebola Virus Disease through direct contact with a animal that is infected with the disease. The Ebola Disease is common within certain animals like fruit bats and nonhuman primates like monkeys or chimpanzees. EVD, or Ebola Virus Disease, is common in pigs as well but there is no indication they are involved in the spread of this virus (CDC). Obtaining the disease like this is called a spillover event. From there, people get the disease through human contact. The disease enters the body through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth, or through broken skin by contact with liquids from the body, like blood, urine, saliva, or vomit. If a person is exposed to these fluids, they have a high chance of catching the disease. Another way a person acquires EVD is if they come in contact with EVD-contaminated syringes, needles, or clothes. The Ebola Virus Disease cannot be spread through food, but it can be spread through EVD-infected animals that are being hunted, handled, and consumed. The disease can be caught through sexual activity, whether that be through vaginal, anal, or oral. The Ebola Virus remains in semen even after the person diagnosed with it has been recovered and scientists are unsure how long it remains in the bodily fluids.The outbreak of the Ebola Virus is very dangerous as it can be spread through contaminated air or the touch of infected inanimate objects, like doorknobs or countertops, very easily.

Unfortunately, there are not many physical appearances of Ebola that one may see, so they must be careful. One may experience excessive sweating, redness and irritation in the eyes, and red spots on the skin. The red spots on the skin can vary in size. Sometimes there are few, big spots that cover a little bit of the skin, or lots of small spots that cover a vast area of the body.

Sadly, there is no cure for the Ebola Virus Disease but there are treatments. One treatment includes providing electrolytes and certain fluids to the infected person. The electrolytes, or body salts, are provided to the body through intraverse, an infusion that occurs in the vein. An additional treatment would be maintaining one’s oxygen status through oxygen therapy. Doctors may also provide the patient with medications to control the person’s blood pressure. These medications may also aid the outrageous vomiting and diarrhea and manage the pains and high fevers the patient may have. One last treatment, which unluckily has not been approved by the FDA, but is used in other countries, is a vaccine that can be used the prevent the Ebola Virus from creating copies of itself and disallow other pathogens from entering the body. There are also ways to prevent one from getting the virus and spreading it among others. First, the easiest and only one to have 100% effectiveness, is to just avoid places that have or have had an outbreak in recent years. If one is an EVD-contaminated area, they should stay away from physical contact with nonhuman primates, bats, or unknown animals; they should also avoid liquids from these animals or a unknown source of meat. Another way is for one to wash their hands with hot water regularly if  they happen to be in an area that is contaminated with the Ebola Virus Disease. A different prevention  would be to avoid contact with contaminated items such as clothes, bedding, and medical equipment. One should try to avoid touching any bodily fluids from a EVD-infected person like blood, saliva, sweat, vaginal fluids, or even breast milk. They should keep away from semen of someone who has had EVD until specialists are certain the virus has exited the semen. Lastly, people should not attend a funeral or burial services that require handling a body that has died of EVD. If one believes they have the Ebola Virus Disease, they should consult a doctor immediately.

The Ebola virus has the capability of killing 90% of the people infected by it (Public Health Intelligence). Luckily, there has been only one well known person diagnosed with Ebola. Her name was Salome Karwah, a nurse who forced efforts to combat Ebola, had been diagnosed with Ebola in 2014 and survived through the disease. She had been named co-Person of the Year for Time Magazine in 2014. Unfortunately, she died in 2017 due to childbirth complications (Time). The outbreak of Ebola in 1976, had been so brutal to people’s lives and caused so many deaths, it was one of the most deadly epidemics in history (Public Health Intelligence). From 2014-2016, there were only eleven people who were treated for Ebola in the United States. The person who traveled to West Africa in 2014 had come back to Dallas, Texas with the disease in which he later dies (CDC).  As of 2018, there have been no more cases of Ebola in the United States (CDC). Many people confuse Ebola with Malaria as their symptoms are very similar but what differentiates them is the way they are contracted. Malaria is mainly retrieved from mosquitoes and Ebola has many factors to the way its contracted (NBC). The name Ebola comes from where the virus was found, near the Ebola River in the northern section of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (CDC).

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Having The Ebola Virus Disease. (2020, Mar 23). Retrieved January 27, 2023 , from
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