The World Health Organisation says the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is spreading faster than the efforts to control it.
WHO Head, Margaret Chan, told a summit of regional leaders of the worst-affected countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone that failure to contain Ebola could be “catastrophic” in terms of lives lost.
She said the virus, which has claimed 729 lives in four West African countries since February, could be stopped if well managed and that Ebola kills up to 90 per cent of those infected.
SAB (Segunakinleyeblog), aims to enlighten readers/blog visitors on the deadly virus.
What is the Ebola virus?
Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness, with a death rate of up to 90 per cent. The illness affects humans as well as primates.
How many have been affected?
The current outbreak raging through West Africa has claimed 672 lives, leaving another 1,200 people infected.
How do people become infected?
Ebola is transmitted through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals. In Africa, infection in humans has occured as a result of the handling of infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead in the rainforest. Once a person comes into contact with an animal that has Ebola, it can spread from human to human. The virus can spread through contact with a sufferer’s blood, urine, saliva, stools and semen. A person can also become infected if broken skin comes into contact with a victim’s soiled clothing, bed linen or used needles.
What are the typical signs and symptoms?
Sudden onset of fever, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. That is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function and internal and external bleeding. The incubation period is between two and 21 days.
Can Ebola be prevented?
Currently there is no licensed vaccine. Several are being tested but none are available for clinical use.
Is it safe to travel to affected areas?
The risk of infection for travellers is very low since person-to-person transmission depends on direct contact with bodily fluids of victims.
* World Health Organisation