Post By Max Gotlieb - Healthcare Reporter
Once again, there has been an outbreak of Ebola. This time the devastating virus has spread through the Congo. The World Health Organization (WHO) and other aid groups have taken notice. They seek to mitigate the effects of Ebola and stop the outbreak in its tracks. This occurrence of the virus is particularly concerning as there have been confirmed cases found in the city of Mbandaka, a densely-populated city that houses a busy river port.
Since its discovery in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire), the virus has typically struck in remote areas, causing hemorrhagic fever among those infected. Between 2014 and 2016, there was a large outbreak of Ebola that killed nearly 11,000 people throughout West Africa.
A result of animals from tropical regions, Ebola has been traced to have originated from bats. Other possible hosts of the virus are the hunted African animals, namely monkeys and apes that are killed for food.
Unfortunately, Ebola is severely deadly and leads to vile results – often death. The virus kills 50 to 90 percent of those who contract it, an extremely high mortality rate. Effects such as high fever, black vomit, and black diarrhea cause extreme dehydration as the virus kills its victim. Extreme bleeding is another devastating effect of the virus.
Surprisingly, the disease is spread mostly through an uncommon way. Those who prepare the bodies of the dead for burial may contract the virus from being in contact with someone hosting it. Additionally, the virus may spread sexually. It may live within sperm cells even after the Ebola has been treated.
Although there is not a cure for Ebola, electrolyte and fluid replacement is an effective treatment against the intense bleeding, vomiting, and diarrhea. Experimental drugs such as ZMapp, favipiravir, and GS-5734 have been synthesized to stop the virus, though there is no definitive cure.
Scientists and doctors will continue their work to stop the outbreak. Experimental vaccines are still being tested and hopefully will be able to neutralize the dangerous virus in the near future.
The World Health Organization emphasizes that the risk of the disease is extremely high in Africa, but the threat of it spreading to other areas such as the United States is miniscule.