background preloader

The Science of Ebola

Facebook Twitter

Individual learning task for the science and media aspects of Ebola.

Ebola virus disease. Ebola virus disease is a serious, usually fatal, disease for which there are no licensed treatments or vaccines. But for people living in countries outside Africa, it remains a very low threat. Ebola was first identified in Africa in the mid-1970s. An outbreak that began in March 2014 was the most serious so far. By August 13 2014 it had killed more than 1,000 people across Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

In August 2014, a British nurse who was treating patients in Sierra Leone contracted the Ebola virus and was flown back to the UK for treatment in a London hospital. But experts studying the virus believe it is very unlikely the disease will spread within the UK. Read on to find out: How do Ebola outbreaks start? It's thought the Ebola virus has been living harmlessly in fruit bats for many years, building up in this population and spreading to other forest animals including chimpanzees and gorillas. How does it spread among people? Other ways people can catch Ebola are: Why Ebola is so dangerous. Ebola Outbreak Map. Ebola crisis: Five ways to avoid the deadly virus. 26 August 2014Last updated at 19:35 ET Ebola is one of the world's most deadly viruses but is not airborne, so cannot be caught like flu.

Medical experts say avoiding it should be quite easy if you follow these tips: 1. Soap and water Wash your hands often with soap and clean water - and use clean towels to dry them. This can be difficult in slum and rural areas where there is not always direct access to clean water - but it is an effective way to kill the virus. Shaking hands should also generally be avoided, Dr Unni Krishnan of Plan International told BBC Africa, because Ebola spreads quickly when people come into contact with an infected person's body fluids and symptoms can take a while to show. 2. So if you suspect someone of having Ebola, do not touch them. An infected person's symptoms include fever, muscle and joint pain, sore throat, headache and fatigue - followed by nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, which may include blood. 3. 4. 5. Spreading rumours increases fear. Ebola virus disease - Treatment. There's currently no licensed treatment or vaccine for Ebola virus disease, although potential new vaccines and drug therapies are being developed and tested.

Any area affected by an outbreak should be immediately quarantined, and patients confirmed to have Ebola virus disease should be treated in isolation in intensive care. Hospital care Dehydration is common, so fluids may be given directly into a vein (intravenously). The patient's blood oxygen levels and blood pressure need to be maintained at the right level and body organs supported, while the patient's body fights the disease and any other infections are treated. Healthcare workers need to avoid contact with the bodily fluids of their infected patients by taking strict precautions. Read about the prevention of Ebola virus disease. ZMapp ZMapp is an experimental treatment that can be tried, although it has not yet been tested on humans for safety or effectiveness.

Read more about ZMapp. Judge rejects Ebola quarantine for nurse | Daily Mail Online. Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere said there's no need to restrict her movements because she's not showing symptoms of EbolaIt was revealed in court documents that the 33-year-old nurse's roommate in Sierra Leone had been treated for Ebola but that any risk had passed By Associated Press Published: 18:00 GMT, 31 October 2014 | Updated: 22:08 GMT, 31 October 2014 A Maine judge gave nurse Kaci Hickox the OK to go wherever she pleases, handing state officials a defeat on Friday in their bid to restrict her movements as a precaution against Ebola. Judge Charles C.

LaVerdiere ruled Hickox must continue daily monitoring and cooperate with health officials if she chooses to travel. The judge said there's no need to restrict her movements because she's not showing symptoms of Ebola. It was also claimed today, the 33-year-old nurse's roommate in Sierra Leone had been treated for Ebola but the court reportedly said that any risk had passed. Scroll down for video 'I know that Ebola is a scary disease.

The difference between US vs UK Ebola news coverage.