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Ebola Virus Disease

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  • Ebola Virus Disease

    Ebola virus diseases, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.There are currently no licensed Ebola vaccines but 2 potential candidates are undergoing evaluation.

    Ebola virus is thought to infect humans through contact with mucous membranes or through skin breaks. Once infected, main targets of infection are endothelial cells, liver cells, and several types of immune cells such as macrophages, monocytes, and dendritic cells.Following infection with the virus, the immune cells carry the virus to nearby lymph nodes where further reproduction of the virus takes place. After that, the virus can enter the bloodstream and lymphatic system and spread throughout the body. Macrophages are the first cells infected with the virus, which results in programmed cell death. Other types of white blood cells, such as lymphocytes, also undergo programmed cell death leading to an abnormally low concentration of lymphocytes in the blood. This contributes to the weakened immune response seen in those infected with Ebola virus.

  • Ebola Virus Disease

    Symptoms:

    Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.

    Fever

    Severe headache

    Fatigue

    Muscle pain

    Weakness

    Diarrhea

    Vomiting

    Abdominal (stomach) pain

    Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)

  • Ebola Virus Disease

    Diagnostic test:

    Antibody-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) Antigen-capture detection tests Serum neutralization test Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay Electron microscopy Virus isolation by cell culture.

    Treatment:

    Supportive care-rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids and treatment of specific symptoms, improves survival. There is as yet no proven treatment available for Ebola virus diseases. However, a range of potential treatments including blood products, immune therapies and drug therapies are currently being evaluated. No licensed vaccines are available yet, but 2 potential vaccines are undergoing human safety testing.

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