Symptoms of Ebola
Ebola hemorrhagic fever, or more commonly known as Ebola, first appeared in 1976. At this time there were two simultaneous outbreaks. This is a sever disease that is quite often fatal within humans. This disease is contracted only through unprotected mucous membranes derived from the eyes, nose, or mouth, or also through open cuts on the skin. These membranes are most commonly associated with blood, sweat, saliva, mucus, urine, vomit, tears, semen, feces. Also, one can become ill with Ebola by eating meat from or coming in contact with infected carriers.
Signs and Symptoms
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health, people with Ebola do not become contagious until they start to show symptoms. Ebola is a disease that is not easily caught, although it is highly important to be aware of signs and symptoms due to its high rate of fatality. The death rate for those who become ill ranges from 50 – 90 percent. The WHO has estimated the current 2014 strain of the virus to be at 70 percent. On average, it takes eight to ten days to develop symptoms of Ebola, however the incubation period can range from 2-21 days. The symptoms of Ebola have been recorded very similar to those of influenza.
Early symptoms include:
- Fever greater than 101.5 °F
- Severe headaches
- Muscle pain
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained bleeding or bruising
- Loss of appetite
As the disease progresses, these symptoms can become more acute and may be accompanied by:
- Bloody diarrhea
- Internal and/or external bleeding
- Skin rashes
- Purple spots on the skin
- Impaired kidney or liver function
Currently, there is no known cure for Ebola. There are two different vaccines that are undergoing evaluation as of October 2014. Although there is no recorded cure, there are steps to take in order to provide recovery to Ebola patients. Recovery is dependent on sufficient clinical care along with the patients immune response. Recommended steps towards recovery are:
- Providing IV fluids and balancing electrolytes
- Maintaining oxygen status and blood pressure
- Treating other infections if they occur
Those who are at highest risk of Ebola are individuals who have traveled to areas where there are current outbreaks, health care workers who have treated patients with the disease, and individuals who have been in contact with another who has the disease.
If you travel to or are in an area affected by an Ebola outbreak, the CDC recommends you do the following:
- Practice careful hygiene. For example, wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and avoid contact with blood and body fluids.
- Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids (such as clothes, bedding, needles and medical equipment).
- Avoid direct contact with the bodies of people who have died from Ebola.
- Avoid contact with blood, fluids and raw meat prepared from carrier animals.
- After you return, monitor your health for 21 days and seek medical care immediately if you develop symptoms of Ebola.