What is Ebola Virus and the symptoms - NAIJA INFORMATION

September 16, 2014

What is Ebola Virus and the symptoms

By now, most people must have heard of the disease, known as Ebola. Ebola seems to be taking most parts of Africa by storm whch resulted in multiple deaths in west Africa and large areas of quarantine.
Currently, there are two affected doctors who were in Africa and are now back in the United States receiving treatment, which has caused some uproar and misconceptions about this potentially global pandemic.
So today, we are here to give you, our loyal readers a summary  the facts surrounding the Ebola Virus and clear your doubts. According to  Dr. Fukuda, WHO assistant director-general for health security has stated, “It is not mysterious. It can be stopped.”
The true Facts surrounding Ebola include but not limited :

What Are the Symptoms of Ebola?

Early on, Ebola can feel like the flu. Symptoms of the Virus shows between two to twenty one days after infection and usually include:
  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Weakness
  • Stomach pain
  • Lack of appetite
As the Virus gets worse, it may also cause bleeding inside the body, from the eyes, nose,ears, bloody diarrhea and even a rash.


  • As the name goes Ebola is a virus,  which means that most  antibiotics that would have killed a bacterial infection will not work against Ebola hence, current antiviral medications such as those against HIV, hepatitis C or herpes do not work either.
There are currently several experimental drugs being used to fight Ebola but they are limited in quantity and research at this time.
  • Ebola has Symptoms which are similar to the flu.  Hence most infected individuals typically have high fevers, diarrhea,vomiting and nausea. This results in loss of fluids which can lead to electrolyte imbalance, dehydration and death.
The virus also affects the lining of the blood vessels in the human system which can cause hemorrhaging (bleeding out) in about half of those affected.
NB: Not everyone with flu-like symptoms have Ebola.
  • The Virus can be transmitted through contact with body fluids of an infected person. This means that an individual would have had to directly come in contact with an infected person who had been infected with Ebola or persons that have been to Africa themselves.
  •  The Ebola virus has five strains.  This means that a person who survives an Ebola virus infection is thought to be immune to that particular virus strain but may not be immune to the other four strains.
Two of the strains, Zaire ebolavirus and Sudan ebolavirus, are reportedly more deadly than the other three, which are Taï Forest ebolavirus, Reston ebolavirus and Bundibugyo ebolavirus.
If an infected person can get medical support including proper re-hydration (while staying in isolation so as to not infect others) and survive beyond the initial two weeks of symptoms, their odds of survival improve greatly.
  • The big problem lies with the lack of appropriate medical facilities, supplies, medications, support, and the misinformation circulating.  There are some reports that infected individuals do not seek medical care as they do not want to go into isolation or be around others with Ebola. By so doing  this increases the chances of immediate transmission to friends and family who come in contact with them while sick, thus passing on the virus. Those who seek medical care may not get the help they need due to a lack of resources.


Brooks, M. (2014). WHO Declares Ebola a Global Public Health Emergency.
Retrieved from www.medscape.com/viewarticle/829629


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