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Ebola haemorrhagic fever: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About ebola haemorrhagic fever

Ebola haemorrhagic fever is a serious and potentially life-threatening infection caused by the Ebola virus. This viral infection can be seen in humans as well as primates like monkeys.

Ebola haemorrhagic fever: Incidence, age and sex

Ebola haemorrhagic fever is not seen frequently in the general population. It can be seen in any age group. However it usually afflicts adults. It is seen mainly in certain areas of Africa.

Signs and symptoms of ebola haemorrhagic fever: Diagnosis

The clinical features of Ebola haemorrhagic fever generally appear a week later after exposure. It has a wide spectrum of clinical features which may vary from indistinct features like backache, headache, exhaustion and abdominal pain. The disease may later progress to severe symptoms which include fever with chills, joint and muscle pain, diarrhoea and vomiting. The infected individuals may exhibit bleeding from various sites like nose, eyes or even from gastrointestinal tract which may be evident from blood stained stools or vomiting blood. The most distinct feature is the appearance of haemorrhagic skin rash over the skin.

It is advisable to consult a medical specialist who may conduct a comprehensive physical examination before advising investigations like blood tests along with detailed coagulation profile. Assessment of serum electrolytes may also be needed to be investigated.

Causes and prevention of ebola haemorrhagic fever

Ebola haemorrhagic fever is caused by the Ebola virus belonging to family Filoviridae. This viral infection is generally transmitted from infected animals like monkeys, gorillas and their products. It can also be transmitted from human to human through direct contact. This viral infection may be prevented by following certain measures like frequent hand-washing, wearing protective gear when coming in contact with infected individuals. It is advisable to avoid epidemic areas while travelling to avoid catching this infection.

Ebola haemorrhagic fever: Complications

Ebola haemorrhagic fever is a fatal infection which may progress to seizures, shock and even death in some cases. The mortality rate of this viral infection is very high and may range from 50 to 90%.

Ebola haemorrhagic fever: Treatment

Unfortunately Ebola haemorrhagic fever does not have a definite cure. The goal of management is to provide symptomatic relief to the affected patient. Medications like anti-pyretic drugs can be given to control fever. The patients do not respond to the anti viral medications. The patient should ideally be kept in isolation to prevent further spread of infection. Transfusion of blood and platelets may be needed in individuals who exhibit bleeding. Some patients may require intensive care management and oxygen support. The prognosis of this viral infection is not good and usually results in high mortality in many cases.