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Ebola

Topics Covered: Issues related to Health.

Ebola:


Context:

A new case of Ebola was diagnosed in Democratic Republic of Congo recently.

Background:

Following an outbreak in June 2020, the region was declared Ebola-free in November after no new cases were reported in more than 48 days.

What you need to know about Ebola?

Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.

Transmission: The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.

The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.

Prevention: Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Good outbreak control relies on case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service and social mobilisation.

Treatment: Early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival. There is yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralise the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development.

Vaccines:

  • An experimental Ebola vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV proved highly protective against EVD in a major trial in Guinea in 2015.
  • The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine is being used in the ongoing 2018-2019 Ebola outbreak in DRC. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should have access to the vaccine under the same conditions as for the general population.
  • The public mistrust and militia attacks have prevented health workers from reaching some hard-hit areas for administering the vaccines.

Ebola

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. How is Ebola spread?
  2. What are zoonotic diseases?
  3. Differences between virus, bacteria and other pathogens.
  4. Where is Congo?
  5. Regions in Africa where Ebola outbreak was observed?

Sources: Down to Earth.