Public Health Problems: Ebola Virus Essay

1742 words - 7 pages

Public Health Problem
Ebola Virus comes from the known strain family virus called filo viruses, which are zoonotic pathogens. Symptoms include fever, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, throat pains, and muscle pains. These symptoms can start as early as 2 days to as late as 3 weeks after contracting the virus. This public health problem dates back to the 1970’s where the first three known outbreaks occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan (Li, Chen 2014). The Ebola virus is introduced into a population when there is close contact with the blood, secretions, or bodily fluids of animals that are infected. The virus started in Africa by humans coming into close contact with infected chimps, gorillas, bats, monkeys, antelopes, and porcupines. Ebola spreads within a community through human to human transmission. The virus is able to spread quickly due to direct contact of the skin or mucous membranes. Ebola is a problem in the world for six main reasons. First, there is no cure for the disease, vaccines have been tested but none are available for use. Second, Ebola is a very deadly disease. It can kill up to 90% of victims within a couple days of exposure (Cunningham 2003). Filo viruses cause episodic, lethal and hemorrhagic outbreaks in humans and in primates (Olival, Islam, Daszak 2013). Third, healthcare workers are becoming infected while treating patients. This is due to the close contact with patients and healthcare personnel not taking full precautions. Fourth, infected individuals are still contagious after death. This means that at funerals, family members have the potential to become infected with close contact to the infected individual. Fifth, people are infectious for as long as the virus is still present in their blood and secretions. One man that got infected in a laboratory had Ebola in his semen 61 days after he was first exposed (world health organization). Sixth, Ebola outbreaks occur mainly in remote villages such as Central and West Africa. This outbreak in remote villages is a concern because people are often unavailable to receive the necessary help to prevent the disease from spreading. These individuals tend to have less knowledge about diseases than others.
The etiological risk factors associated with Ebola virus are environmental conditions and infected animals. An individual can become infected in many ways. First, an individual can become infected through direct contact with an individual’s bodily fluids. Second, an uncommon way of transmission is at a burial ceremony where individuals can become infected by coming into contact with the infected deceased individual. Third, humans can become infected by coming into contact with infected animals, dead or alive; this is seen in countries where people hunt for survival. Fourth, healthcare workers and patients are susceptible for the disease where a patient has previously been placed. These four methods of transmission cause humans to develop the...

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