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  • Basic Epidemiology of Ebola

    Ebola has been responsible for the deaths of quite a number of people in the world, especially in Africa. The disease has been an epidemic in Uganda in the early 2000+ years. Then between 2010 and 2015 the disease has been quite prevalent in several West African nations. The disease is a viral infection and the virus has natural habitats as bats. However, it is not clear how the virus was first transmitted from bats to human beings.

    Transmission of Ebola

    Transmission from one human being to another is mainly through body fluids. These fluids include blood, saliva, breast milk, semen as well as vaginal fluids among others. In order for a person to contract this virus, there has to be direct contact between an infected person’s fluids and another person’s fluid within the body. This contact can be through body parts such as mouth and eyes or wounds on the skin. It is also important to note that the fluids could be from a living individual or a corpse. A debate rages on whether sneezing and coughing can lead to Ebola infections. Well, the fact is that the Ebola virus cannot be transmitted through the air. However, if a person sneezes and some fluids get to another person, then the person could be infected. Therefore, coughing and sneezing can lead to Ebola infections.

    It has also been claimed that sexual contact can lead to transmission of Ebola virus. This might not be proven but even bodies such World Health Organisation (WHO) and governments believe that this is possible. Actually, WHO organisation advised patients who survived an Ebola infection to use condoms during intercourse. On the other hand, some governments advised this group of people to abstain from sex indefinitely. As much as there is no proof for sexual transmission, some studies have found the Ebola virus in semen of such men. This virus was then grown in a laboratory setting. This shows the possibility of Ebola’s sexual transmission.

    Control of Ebola

    At the moment, it is not possible to protect oneself from Ebola infection through vaccination. The only known ways of controlling the virus is by avoidance of contact with any body fluid from an infected person. This means wearing protective clothing that covers someone from top to bottom. In addition, clothes suspected to have been used by an infected person should be thoroughly disinfected before being used by another person. Finally, avoid sexual contact with an infected individual.

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