Ebola Virus Disease is the disease caused by Ebola virus. Ebola virus is one of at least 30 known viruses capable of causing viral hemorrhagic fever syndrome. The genus Ebolavirus is currently classified into 5 separate species: Sudan ebolavirus, Zaire ebolavirus, Tai Forest (Ivory Coast) ebolavirus, Reston ebolavirus, and Bundibugyo ebolavirus. The 2014 outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, involving Zaire ebolavirus, is the largest outbreak of Ebola virus disease in history. Although agents that cause viral hemorrhagic fever syndrome constitute a geographically diverse group of viruses, all of those identified to date are RNA viruses with a lipid envelope, all are considered zoonoses, all damage the microvasculature.
A person infected with Ebola virus will typically develop a fever, a headache, joint and muscle pain, a sore throat, and intense muscle weakness. These symptoms start suddenly between 2 and 21 days after becoming infected. Diarrhoea, vomiting, a rash, stomach pain and impaired kidney and liver function follow.Diagnosing Ebola in a person who has been infected for only a few days is difficult because the early symptoms, such as fever, are nonspecific to Ebola infection and often are seen in patients with more common diseases, such as malaria and typhoid fever. Ebola virus is detected in blood only after onset of symptoms, most notably fever, which accompany the rise in circulating virus within the patient's body. It may take up to three days after symptoms start for the virus to reach detectable levels
Laboratory tests used in diagnosis include:
• Antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing
• IgM and IgG antibodies detection
• Immunohistochemistry testing No FDA-approved vaccine or medicine is available for Ebola. Symptoms of Ebola and complications are treated as they appear.
The following basic interventions, when used early, can significantly improve the chances of survival:
• Providing intravenous fluids (IV) and balancing electrolytes (body salts).
• Maintaining oxygen status and blood pressure.
• Treating other infections if they occur.
Ebola and Marburg viruses are responsible for well-documented outbreaks of severe human hemorrhagic fever, with resultant case mortalities ranging from 23% for Marburg virus to 89% for Ebola virus. During this outbreak, only 27 (8.6%) of the 315 patients diagnosed with Ebola virus infection were aged 17 years or younger. This apparent sparing of children occurs even though 50% of the population is younger than 16 years.