If you are currently living in West Africa, I am sure your number one concern right now is EBOLA. With over 1000 deaths since the outbreak early this year, the Ebola virus has many West Africans living in fear especially since there is no known cure or vaccine for it yet.
What many people do not realise is that Ebola is very much preventable and survivable. There are many precautionary measures you can put in place to ensure that you do not contract the virus, and in the unfortunate situation that you are infected, there is an almost 50% chance that you can survive the virus.
Before I go on to talk about how you can survive and Ebola infection, here are a few quick facts about Ebola
What is Ebola?
The Ebola virus is described as a group of viruses that cause a deadly kind of hemorrhagic fever. The term “hemorrhagic fever” means it causes bleeding inside and outside the body.
The virus has a long incubation period of approximately eight to 21 days. Early symptoms include fever, muscle weakness, sore throat and headaches.
As the disease progresses, the virus can impair kidney and liver function and lead to external and internal bleeding. It’s one of the most deadly viruses on Earth with a fatality rate that can reach between approximately 50 to 90 percent. There is no cur
Where did the disease originate from?
The first known case was documented in Sudan and Zaire in 1976. There have been several outbreaks but none as deadly and widespread as what we are currently experiencing.
There have been samples of the virus found in chimpanzees but in Africa, it was transmitted to Humans through Fruits bats, which are considered to be the natural host of the virus.
There are precautionary measures we can all put in place to ensure that we do not get infected by the virus
- Wash hands with soap or a strong sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. The virus can be killed when it comes into contact with these elements
- Avoid eating uncooked meat.
- Keep a clean environment and be disinfect your surroundings regularly
Now the big question is ‘How do I survive if I am infected?’
Yes there is no cure for Ebola but the good news is that you have about a 50% chance of survival once you contract the virus.
A key to survival is EARLY MEDICAL TREATMENT. The disease progresses in 2 stages and by the 2nd stage, it is almost too late to do anything.
When you seek early medical care, the doctors will try to stabilise your heart conditions and also make sure that other key organs are function properly. They do this by giving you antibiotics, Intravenous Fluids to maintain body fluids and medication to control fever and high temperatures.
The hope is that if your body is stable, it can produce enough antigens to fight the virus. That is how most of the victims of Ebola survived
The Ugly Side of Ebola
Ebola was transmitted to Nigeria by a Liberian, Patrick Sawyer. He collapsed at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport at Lagos, and he was quickly rushed to a nearby hospital. Patrick Sawyer was at the time highly infectious as he was at the latter stages of the disease.
By so doing he infected 10 people, with 2 confirmed deaths. The sad part is the people he infected could have also infected other people.
A sad story is a nursing mother who has tested positive for ebola after she was in the same hospital Patrick Sawyer was brought into.
Yeah that is how crazy Ebola is.
A Gleam of Hope?
Two(2) US citizens who were infected with the virus are currently responding to treatment with experimental drug, Zmapp. US officials have agreed to send samples of Zmapp to Liberia to treat medical officials infected with the virus.
Recently, Canada has also agreed to send 1000 doses of VSV-EBOV to Africa for the treatment and cure of Ebola. Even though this drug has not been tested on humans yet, it is still better than nothing.
Ebola Has Exposed Africa’s Leaders as Visionless
What exactly has African leaders been doing to find a cure for this deadly disease? As usual we were waiting for the western countries to come up with a cure so that we can beg them for it.
Are there funds allocated for scientific research in Africa?
Ebola has been in Africa since 1976 and nothing had been done since then to find a cure.