Stopping the Ebola outbreak

As of the day this article was published, there is no cure and no approved vaccine for the Ebola virus and the disease is continuing its spread in Western Africa. This virus is very dangerous because it makes its victims sick very quickly and it has a 50-70 % fatality rate.

Currently, the best prevention against the spread of Ebola is the application of basic disease interventions, which are summarized, in the following infographic, created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States.

stopping-the-ebola-outbreak

The first step is to diagnose patients who are sick with Ebola. Those would express symptoms of fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea, and bleeding. The only way to make an accurate diagnosis is by taking blood samples and sending to a good laboratory.

When a patient is diagnosed with Ebola, he or she must be isolated and all the aid helpers must wear protective gear. That patient is asked who are the people that were contacted while there were symptoms. Those contacts must be monitored for 21 days (incubation period of Ebola). If any one them showed the same symptoms, they should be tested, and then isolated in a similar way if the diagnosis is positive.

Also to help stopping the spread of Ebola, health care workers must wear protective gear and keep a clean environment. If a patient dies, safe and disinfected burial practices should be conducted. Also, it is not recommended to eat raw animal meat because many mammals (primates, bats, etc.) can transmit the virus to humans.

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