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ISSN-1059-6518 Volume 27 Number 3

By Frank Hubbell, DO

What is Ebola Virus Disease?

Ebola virus disease (EVD), also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans caused by the Ebola Virus.

The mortality rate is about 90%.

The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals by the body fluids and organs of infected animals. This occurs from hunting the animals, butchering them, and consuming them.

In Africa, EVD has been spread by infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope, and porcupines that were either hunted or found dead in the rainforest. It is probable that if the meat had been cooked thoroughly, the virus would have been killed.

Once in the human population, the virus is contagious and can spread via human-to-human transmission through contact with body fluids.

It is stated by the researchers that the Ebola virus cannot be spread airborne, but I humbly disagree. If the virus is in body fluids, when the patient coughs, the virus is going to be expelled and potentially spread by the airborne droplets. The point being, you have to protect your airway as well as using all BSI when working with any patients with a potentially contagious disease.

Currently the EVD outbreaks have occurred in remote villages in Central and West Africa: Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Guinea, and Liberia.

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