Ebola virus disease (EVD): Origin, symptoms, treatments, Vaccine, prevention
Here we, the humans are in under threats from Ebola virus disease. Recent outbreak has once again has left us dismantled amidst CORONA crisis.Let’s discuss the topic.
Why it is in news?
The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared that a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease is found in Wangata health zone, in Équateur province.
What is Ebola virus disease (EVD)?
- Ebola is a fatal disease caused by a virus. Earlier It was known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever.
- The Virus is Zoonotic in nature i.e it gets transmitted to people from wild animals. It is believed that fruit bats are the natural reservoir of Ebola virus.
- The Ebola virus isn’t as contagious as viruses like CORONA or influenza or measles.
- It is a is a single-stranded RNA virus.
- The fatality rate is very high (up to 83 to 90 percent)
How does the Ebola virus take an entrance into a cell?
The virus remains inactive outside the human cell. In order to replicate they have to take entrance through cell membrane. The Ebola virus uses the nutrient engulfing micropinocytosis process to enter into the cell. Ebola has glycoprotein that sticks at its membrane and binds with receptors on the cell surface. After the binding of these receptors starts micropinocytosis i.e intake, which results the virus being engulfed by a wave-like motion into cell membrane.
History of Ebola virus
Ebola virus was first identified as a possible new “strain” in 1976. The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) identified this new strain as Zaire ebolavirus, which is part of the genus Ebolavirus of family Filoviridae. The name “Ebola virus” is derived from the Ebola River. It is a river in Democratic Republic of Congo previously known Zaire.
The incubation period or the time taken by the virus to show symptoms, is from 2 to 21 days. A person infected with Ebola cannot spread the disease until they develop symptoms. So they are not Asymptomatic as CORONA virus.
Symptoms of EVD can be sudden and include:
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Skin Rash
Diagnosis of the Virus
- There are some clinically tested methods are used to check whether a person is infected in Ebola virus or not. These are listed as
- antibody-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
- antigen-capture detection tests
- serum neutralization test
- reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay
- electron microscopy
- virus isolation by cell culture
Treatment of the virus
There are Supportive care like rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids which is used as treatment after the confirmation of specific symptoms. There is as yet no clinically proven treatment discovered for EVD. However, some treatments are currently being tested including
- blood products
- immune therapies
- Fluids and electrolytes
- Oxygen supply
- Blood pressure medication
- Blood transfusions
- drug therapies.
The vaccine called rVSV-ZEBOV is in a major trial in Guinea since 2015. Which has already achieved positive response to combat the virus.
The best way to be safe from the virus is by not traveling to areas where the virus is found. Also direct contact with animals like bats, monkeys, chimpanzees are highly prescribed.
What’s alarming in the new outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2020
- Cases are being detected among the individuals unlike previously identified through contacts.
- The new cases have been traced in the cross-border population flow with Rwanda, South Sudan, Burundi and Uganda.
- The densely populated areas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) which are vulnerable in humanitarian and security ground are under surveillance as the traces are found.
- WHO officials are collecting samples from the ground level hotspots and contact tracing is underway.Source is still unknown.
Role of World Health Organization
WHO already declared EBOLA outbreak as global health emergency. WHO is also working to ensure all the essential health services to all vulnerable communities despite in ground level after identifying the definite spots across Africa. However, there are some challenge are ahead of WHO like shortage of vaccines. Various agencies already been recruited to tackle the crisis.
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