Ebola outbreak in Congo – What is Ebola, Cause, Symptoms, Treatment And Prevention

Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, there has been an Ebola Outbreak reported in Congo which has already claimed 4 lives. Read to know about Ebola, its cause and prevention from the disease.

Ebola outbreak in Congo: The whole world is already going through a deadly pandemic and recently the news of a new Ebola outbreak in the northwest Democratic Republic of Congo was surfacing. This is a rough time that the whole world is going through and this measle outbreak along with COVID 19 and measles outbreak, is again a new challenge that is laid in front of Congo. As per the “The Health Ministry of Congo” 6 cases detected of Ebola out of which already 4 patients have died. This is 11th Ebola outbreak in the country since, 1976. The last Ebola outbreak that took place was in July 2018. 

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What is Ebola?

Ebola is a virus attack that is deadly in nature. It is highly contagious in nature and it causes body aches, fever, and diarrhea in the initial stage followed by bleeding. The bleeding can take place inside as well as outside of the body. 

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Mainly the virus attacks the immune system of the body and destroys it. This finishes the capability of blood clotting and hence immense bleeding takes place that leads to severe conditions or even the death of the person. 

Cause of Ebola Outbreak

When the Ebola outbreak happened in 2018, scientists tried to find out the exact cause of it but it was not known. But as per the information that was gathered, the experts said that the Ebola virus or also known as EVD is an animal-borne disease mainly from the bats. The disease soon got transmitted from the animals to humans. 

It is not yet sure whether insects such as mosquitoes can become the carrier of the virus or not. If once a person is infected with the virus, the virus can get transmitted to those humans too, whoever comes in contact with the infected person. 

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Symptoms of Ebola

The symptoms of Ebola take as much as 8 to 10 days to show up. But also in many other cases, it may take as much as 2 days to 21 days to show up the symptoms. Some of the initial symptoms of the disease are:

  • Fever
  • Headache, Joint pains, muscle ache, pain in the abdomen
  • Fatigue and extreme weakness
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as nausea followed by vomiting and also diarrhea
  • After a few days, the patient will start experiencing bruising due to internal bleeding or also at times unexplained external bleeding. 

Apart from these common initial symptoms, experts also mention that there can be also some other symptoms such as 

  • Red eyes
  • Rashes on the skin
  • Regular hiccups in later stage

As many of the initial symptoms are similar to various other diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever, influenza, and even recently COVID 19, it is required for the patient to go for a test to get the actual result when such symptoms arise. 

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Ebola Treatment and Prevention

The treatment for the confirmed Ebola patients takes place by the use of antiviral drugs REGN-EB3 and mAb114. These drugs were used to treat patients during the Ebola outbreak in the year 2018. The drugs work by stopping the virus from making any further copies of itself in the patient’s body. Along with the drugs, other treatment steps that should be followed are:

  • Providing electrolytes and nutritional fluids through the veins
  • Providing oxygen therapy
  • Treating other infections and also the problems of diarrhea, high blood pressure, pain, and fever

Ebola is a rare disease found in other parts of the world. In case, if you are traveling to an Ebola-infected place such as Congo, you should get vaccinated with rVSV-ZEBOV for prevention measures. There are also other preventative measures that people should take care of such as:

  • Not coming in contact with the person who is ill
  • Not coming in contact with the items that were in touch with the infected person
  • Avoiding places such as burial and funeral grounds
  • Staying away from regions of raw meat and bats

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