By Dr Harsh Sharma, DHMS, BHMS
Published August 12, 2014, Last updated October 21, 2016
What is Ebola virus
Ebola Virus is a rare virus but really deadly in nature. It causes a disease known as Ebola Haemorrhagic fever, which causes bleeding both within and outside the body. The platelet count goes down and this can cause difficulty in clotting of blood. In more severe cases, the bleeding starts spontaneously and may be seen from all parts of the body. It is known to cause high rates of mortality.
Cause of Ebola
The Ebola virus is present in monkeys, pigs and some other wild animals. In Africa, infection has been found to spread from infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys and some other animals. Any close contact with blood, secretions like urine or faeces or organs of infected animals can introduce the infection into human beings. This virus is transmitted from wild animals to humans and then spreads from one human to another. An infected human being can spread the infection through direct contact from broken skin, blood or other body fluids of infected person. Men who have recovered from the infection can spread the infection through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery.
Symptoms of Ebola
The symptoms of Ebola virus are as follows-
a) Fever, which may be quite high
b) Pain in the head, muscles and joints
c) Sore throat
d) Lassitude and weakness
e) Pain in the stomach
f) Loss of appetite
g) Haemorrhage or bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose. Bleeding may occur within the body and may be manifested as blood in the stool or vomit.
h) The function of the kidneys and liver gets compromised.
Recovery may be slow and may often take months to completely recover. Hairloss, headaches, weakness and inflammation of the eyes may persist for long time.