In this post I am going to discuss how to protect yourself from Ebola. Ebola is caused by a strain of Ebola virus. Like all viral diseases, Ebola is difficult to treat because of the characteristic properties of viruses. Therefore, even “super drugs” like antibiotics fail when it comes to treating viral diseases. Anti-viral drugs are limited in number and currently, there is no known cure for Ebola.
Protect Yourself From Ebola
Though symptomatic treatment can be provided to an Ebola patient, it should be borne in mind that when it comes to Ebola, prevention is better than cure. Avoid traveling to areas where Ebola is widespread. Ebola or any other disease – adopt a healthy lifestyle to boost your immunity and keep all diseases at bay!
Ebola Virus: Why It Failed Antibiotics
Antibiotics have been used since the 1940s to greatly reduce illness and death from diseases. Owing to their vast range of use to prevent and cure diseases, antibiotics are nothing short of “super drugs”. Most disease causing agents don’t stand a chance against the “super powers of antibiotics” but viruses are an exception and this is what makes it so difficult to keep a check on viral diseases like Ebola.
Why virus is safe from antibiotics:
A virus is a disease causing microorganism which is smaller than the smallest bacterium. Bacteria are also disease causing organisms but they can be killed or their replication be curbed with the use of antibiotics. Viruses, on the other hand, are immune to the effects of antibiotics.
The sheer simplicity of a virus makes it resistant to the effects of “super drugs”. Unlike bacteria, viruses cannot replicate on their own, rather they require the machinery of a living host- usually an animal, or human or even bacteria- to reproduce. Moreover, viruses dwell inside living cells and are thus able to stay out of sight and out of reach of the drugs.
A virus is so intricately and complicatedly linked with a host that it is extremely difficult for a drug to launch action against a virus without causing damage to the host as well. Thus, antibiotics are completely useless when it comes to fighting viral diseases.
What Works Against A Virus?
Discovery and manufacture of proteins called interferon has made it possible to treat viral infections caused by Hepatitis C Virus. A few vaccines are also available against some viruses. However, in most cases an infected person’s natural immunity is the only mechanism of defense against a viral invasion. The battle between a virus and the host’s immune system can go either way- with the person contracting the disease if the virus wins.
THE EBOLA OUTBREAK:
In 1993 UNO declared Tuber Closes, T.B, as a global epidemic emergency. Till then Ebola is another epidemic, which have been declared as a global emergency in 2014.
The UNO on Aug, 2014 declared Ebola as an international health emergency for the world as it had no cure and was spreading in West Africa in a fast speed. Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains.
The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries multiple in West Africa. There were a small number of cases reported in Nigeria and a single case reported in Senegal; however, these cases are considered to be contained, with no further spread in these countries.
- Two imported cases, including one death, and two locally acquired cases in healthcare workers have been reported in United States.
Here’s How Ebola Travels:
The Ebola virus can spread from an infected person to healthy individuals through direct contact (broken skin or mucous membranes of, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth). The routes of spread of Ebola virus are:
- Blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, semen) of a person (dead or alive) who is infected with Ebola.
- Instruments (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated by the virus.
- Consumption of fruit infected by bats or primates (apes and monkeys).
Ebola is not spread through the air, by water, or in general, by food. There is no evidence that mosquitoes or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only a few species of mammals (e.g., humans, bats, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus.
How Long Does Ebola Live outside The Body?
Ebola is killed with hospital-grade disinfectants (such as household bleach). Ebola on dry surfaces, such as doorknobs and countertops, can survive for several hours; however, virus in body fluids (such as blood) can survive up to several days at room temperature.
Ebola Vaccine: According to the official guidelines, if you must travel to an area affected by the 2014 Ebola outbreak
- Wash your hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to protect yourself from Ebola.
- Avoid contact with the blood and body fluids of any person, particularly someone who is sick.
- Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
- Do not touch the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
- Do not touch bats and nonhuman primates (apes and monkeys) or their blood and fluids and do not touch or eat raw meat prepared from these animals.
- Avoid facilities in West Africa where Ebola patients are being treated. The U.S. Embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on healthcare facilities that are suitable for your medical needs.
- Report any potential unprotected Ebola exposure or illness promptly.
- Seek medical care immediately if you develop fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- Limit your contact with other people until and when you travel to the doctor. Do not travel anywhere else.
Ebola Vaccine: There’s No Treatment For Ebola But There’s Still Hope…
No FDA-approved vaccine or medicine (for example: antiviral drug) is available for Ebola. As mentioned earlier, it is extremely difficult to formulate an anti-viral therapy due to the characteristics of viruses and the Ebola virus is no exception to it. So how to protect yourself from Ebola? The only treatment given to individuals infected with Ebola is usually symptomatic.
Remember: A strong immune system is your first line of defense against an approaching Ebola virus or any other disease causing organism.