How to prevent the Ebola virus

In December of last year 2013, the first case of Ebola, registered in Guinea-Conakry. Since then, 729 people have lost their lives and the epidemic spreads "out of control" in western West Africa. According to the experts, we would find ourselves facing the most devastating Ebola outbreak, which has become a real challenge for the health authorities not only of the affected countries, but of practically everyone, given the possibility that it could spread to more countries.

The Ebola is the name of a virus of the family Filoviridae and genus Filovirus. Its name comes from the Ebola River, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it was identified for the first time in 1976 when an epidemic occurred.

It is a virus causing the so-called Viral hemorrhagic fever of Ebola, an infectious and highly contagious disease, which is very serious and affects both humans and other species of the animal kingdom.

Although there is currently no medical treatment aimed at fighting the Ebola virus, we do have symptomatic medical treatments for the treatment of fever and pain. On the other hand, there is no vaccine that prevents infection, while it has a case-fatality rate of between 50% and 90%.

Therefore, is it possible to prevent infection with the Ebola virus?

Can the Ebola virus be prevented?

Experts agree that yes the prevention of the Ebola virus is possible, as long as a series of basic recommendations indicated by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the control and prevention of the spread of the Ebola virus are followed.

Bearing in mind that infection between people can only occur through direct contact through wounds or cuts in the skin, or through mucous membranes such as secretions, blood, organs or other bodily fluids of people who have been infected, Prevention in this sense is possible and fundamental.

Hence, there are many cases among health personnel, since as a rule the contact usually occurs when being in the care of a person who is already sick with the virus.

How to prevent infection with the Ebola virus?

As we indicated in the previous lines, there is no vaccine against the Ebola virus, so that vaccination is in no way a form of prevention. Yes it is true that there are several vaccines that are being tested and that are in experimental phase, but at the moment it is not a valid option.

It is essential to raise awareness of the population both on the risks of the disease and on protective and hygienic measures which should be adopted.

Highlights the constant washing of the hands. On the other hand, it is advisable to always touch the animals with gloves, especially if they are manipulated, and to cook their meat well.

Between people, you should avoid close physical contact with the sick. In the event that you are a health worker, it is important to always take care of them by wearing protective clothing, gloves and glasses.

We summarize below the main preventive tips to avoid the spread of the Ebola virus:

  • Decreased risk of human infection:
    - Decrease contact with wild animals that may be infected, such as apes, monkeys and bats.
    - Avoid the consumption of raw meat.
    - When handling animals, always use gloves and protective clothing.
    - Use gloves, masks and special gowns to reduce the risk of transmission from person to person.
    - Wash your hands frequently with hot water and soap, especially after visiting sick relatives in the hospital.

  • Prevention of infection in health centers:
    - Use of isolation measures.
    - Use of necessary equipment (such as gowns, gloves and mask) to reduce the risk of transmission from patients to health personnel.

Image | Fairfax County This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor. ThemesInfections

Infectious Diseases A-Z: Understanding Ebola (November 2020)