Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a severe disease that causes hemorrhagic fever in humans and animals . Diseases that cause hemorrhagic fevers, such as Ebola, are often fatal as they affect the body's vascular system (how blood moves through the body). This can lead to significant internal bleeding and organ failure.
The disease typically occurs in outbreaks in tropical regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. The risk of EVD being imported into the UK is considered to be very low. As the epidemiological situation in West Africa continues to stabilize, the risk to the UK population continues to decrease.
Initial symptoms include sore throat, fever, chills, headache, muscle pain and weakness. As the disease gets progressed the symptoms get severe and include rash, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, hemorrhaging (bleeding from inside and outside the body).
Ebola is diagnosed based on travel history, symptoms and laboratory testing. There is currently no specific licensed treatment or vaccine for EVD. Patients are treated for their symptoms. Treatment options include supportive care in an intensive care unit, maintenance of fluid levels and electrolytes, maintenance of oxygen status and blood pressure, replacement of lost blood and clotting factors, strict isolation to prevent the infection from spreading.