Ebola virus is a highly infectious and often deadly virus that belongs to the Filoviridae family. It was first discovered in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo and has since caused sporadic outbreaks in Central and West African countries. The virus is named after the Ebola River, where the first outbreak occurred.
Ebola virus is transmitted through contact with bodily fluids such as blood, vomit, and feces of infected people or animals, including fruit bats, chimpanzees, gorillas, and monkeys. The virus can also be transmitted through contact with objects contaminated with infected bodily fluids. The incubation period for Ebola virus ranges from 2 to 21 days, after which symptoms may appear.
Symptoms of Ebola virus infection include fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash. These symptoms can progress to more severe symptoms such as internal and external bleeding, which can lead to death. Ebola virus can be diagnosed through laboratory tests such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and ELISA tests.
There is currently no specific treatment for Ebola virus. Supportive care, such as maintaining fluids and electrolyte balance, treating fever and other symptoms, and managing complications, can help improve the chances of survival. However, experimental treatments such as monoclonal antibodies and antiviral drugs have shown promising results in animal studies and some human clinical trials.
Prevention and control of Ebola virus infection mainly involve following strict infection control procedures, such as wearing personal protective equipment, isolating infected individuals, and decontaminating surfaces and objects. There is also a vaccine for Ebola virus, which was developed in response to the 2014-2016 West Africa outbreak. The vaccine is effective in preventing Ebola virus infection and has been used in outbreak response efforts in Africa.
Due to the high mortality rate and potential for outbreaks, Ebola virus is classified as a biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) pathogen, which means it requires the highest level of biocontainment measures and facilities for safe handling and research.