Ebola Scare in Durban

Durban has received it’s first threat of the deadly Ebola virus yesterday. According to media reports, a suspected ebola case has been reported at Addington Hospital and they are on red alert. Staff at Addington closed off entrances and wards to the hospital in readiness to treat the suspected Ebola patient. Staff have been wearing […]

Durban has received it’s first threat of the deadly Ebola virus yesterday.

Ebola virus
Ebola virus

According to media reports, a suspected ebola case has been reported at Addington Hospital and they are on red alert. Staff at Addington closed off entrances and wards to the hospital in readiness to treat the suspected Ebola patient. Staff have been wearing masks and protective gear to prevent contamination of the deadly virus. Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo confirmed that a patient has been brought into Addingtoon hospital to be treated for the Ebola virus. The hospital has been designated as the only one in the province equipped to deal with Ebola.

Sbongiseni Dlomo
Sbongiseni Dlomo

According to sources the man had recently returned from Sierra Leone, West Africa. All MEC Dhlomo could say when asked if a blood sample from the patient had been tested for ebola was “Yebo”. According to reports, if it was confirmed that the man is suffering from Ebola then a report will have to be sent to the National Health Minister. Social Media sites were abuzz with the story with many people thinking that this was a prank. As of 25 October 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a total of 13,703 suspected cases and 4,922 deaths, though the WHO believes that this substantially understates the magnitude of the outbreak with true figures numbering three times as many cases as have been reported. The assistant director-general of the WHO warned in mid-October that there could be as many as 10,000 new EVD cases per week by December 2014.

Facts about Ebola

Ebola Signs and Symptoms
Ebola Signs and Symptoms

According to Wikipedia, the Ebola virus disease (EVD; also Ebola hemorrhagic fever, or EHF), or simply Ebola, is a disease of humans and other primates caused by ebolaviruses (EBOV). Signs and symptoms typically start between two days and three weeks after contracting the virus as a fever, sore throat, muscle pain and headaches. Then, vomiting, diarrhea and rash usually follow, along with decreased function of the liver and kidneys. At this time some people begin to bleed both internally and externally. Death, if it occurs, follows typically six to sixteen days after symptoms appear and is often due to low blood pressure from fluid loss. The virus spreads by direct contact with blood or other body fluids of an infected human or other animal. Infection with the virus may also occur by direct contact with a recently contaminated item or surface.Spread of the disease through the air has not been documented in the natural environment.[EBOV may be spread by semen or breast milk for several weeks to months after recovery. Control of outbreaks requires coordinated medical services, along with a certain level of community engagement. The medical services include: rapid detection of cases of disease, contact tracing of those who have come into contact with infected individuals, quick access to laboratory services, proper care and management of those who are infected and proper disposal of the dead through cremation or burial.

There is no specific treatment

Ebola Aid Workers
Ebola Aid Workers

Prevention includes limiting the spread of disease from infected animals to humans.This may be done by handling potentially infected bush meat only while wearing protective clothing and by thoroughly cooking it before consumption.It also includes wearing proper protective clothing and washing hands when around a person with the disease.Samples of body fluids and tissues from people with the disease should be handled with special caution. No specific treatment for the virus is available. Efforts to help those who are infected are supportive; they include giving either oral rehydration therapy (slightly sweetened and salty water to drink) or intravenous fluids as well as treating symptoms. This supportive care improves outcomes. The disease has a high risk of death, killing between 25 percent and 90 percent of those infected with the virus, with an average mortality rate of 50 percent. Efforts are under way to develop a vaccine. South African Businessman Patrice Motsepe this week donated over R10 million to the Ebola Fund in Guinea to help fight the disease in West Africa.