Handling of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines has been believed to be the cause of Ebola virus infection to human population (WHO, 2014). Five identified subspecies of Ebola virus includes Ebola virus (Zaire Ebola virus), Sudan virus (Sudan Ebola Virus), Tal Forest Virus (Tal Forest Ebola virus), Bundibugyo virus (Bundi bugyo Ebola virus) and Reston virus (Reston Ebola virus), latter causing disease only in non-human primates (CDC, 2014; Paho, 2014). Ebola virus has enveloped, helical, cross striated nucleocapsid, filamentous or pleomorphologic shape that are flexible with extensive branching, 80 nm in diameter and 970-1200 nm in length (AABB, 2009).
Contact with infected person with the soiled clothing, handling of unsterilized needles or medical equipment and other physical contact with infected person are possible ways of Ebola virus infection (NHS, 2014). Virus Transmission between two persons can occur through direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person and exposure to contaminated objects (CDC, 2014). Virus can replicate themselves quickly to cause harmful health effects (NHS, 2014).
Sudden fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore threat followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function are common signs of Ebola virus disease (NHS, 2014; Paho, 2014; WHO, 2014). Internal bleeding from ears, eyes, and mouth may occur (NHS, 2014). Specific treatment of Ebola virus disease is not available yet however supportive care, rehydration and maintenance of oxygen status and blood pressure has been recommended (CDC, 2014; WHO, 2014). Ebola virus disease has a fatality rate up to 90%.
Advanced Transfusion and Cellular Therapies Worldwide (AABB) (2009) Ebola Virus [Online] Available at http://www.aabb.org [Accessed on 13 September 2014].
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2014) Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever [Online] Available at http://www.cdc.gov [Accessed on 16 August 2014].
National Health Service (NHS) (2014) Ebola Virus Threat to the UK is Very ‘Low’ [Online] http://www.nhs.ac.uk [Accessed on 13 September 2014].
Pan American Health Organizations (PAHO) (2014) Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), Implications of Introduction in the Americas [Online] Available at http://www.paho.org [Accessed on 16 August 2014].
World Health Organization (WHO) (2014) Frequently Asked Questions on Ebola Virus Disease [Online] Available at http://www.who.int [Accessed on 16 August 2014).