EVD (Ebola Virus Disease) comes across as a deadly and rare disease in nonhuman primates and people alike. The viruses causing EVD have been basically found in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. This virus enters the body either through direct contact with any infected animal (nonhuman primate or bat) or a dead or sick person who had contacted Ebola virus.
The US FDA has gone ahead with approval of Ebola vaccine called “ERVEBO” to prevent EVD. However, this vaccine has been reported to be safe as well as protective against Zaire Ebolavirus species.
The other species causing disease include Sudan ebolavirus, Tai Forest ebolavirus (formerly d’lvoire ebolavirus), and Bundibugyo ebolavirus. Reston virus is known to cause disease in the pigs and nonhuman primates, but there is no evidence of the cases to have been reported in people so far.
The virus is known to stay in some body fluids like semen post recovery from the ailment. The side-effects after recovery may be inclusive of muscle aches, tiredness, stomach ache, and vision and ocular problems.
What’s with the Democratic Republic of Congo?
The Democratic Republic of Congo has started with Prophylactic Ebola Treatment vaccinations for mitigating an outbreak in Mbandaka – WHO (World Health Organization).
It further states that 2 people in the city have succumbed to this disease (out of 1 Mn+ people) who do reside in vicinity to water, road, and air links to Kinhasa (the capital).
The very first fatality was reported on April 21 and the second on April 25. This outbreak, actually marked the 14th one in this Arfican County.
Mbandaka has, so far, received close to 200 doses of rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccines from Goma. More doses are in the pipeline, as confirmed by the same WHO. The next bite is that it has identified 233 contacts so far and the rest are being strictly monitored.
Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Africa Director, Ebola Treatment could be brought under control with various vaccines at its discretion along with rich experience of Democratic Republic of the Congo health workers.
In the year 1976, it was discovered that the equatorial forests of Congo are amongst the natural reservoirs of Ebola virus. The Ebola river in northern Congo gave this virus its name.
The 13th outbreak that happened in 2018-2020 in the east did end up killing 2.3K people, which was the 2nd highest toll reported in history of hemorrhagic fever.
The one that ended in December in the east did result in 6 deaths. Genetic testing is showing that the ongoing outbreak is a new-fangled “spillover event”, which means it is getting transmitted from the infected animals instead of getting linked to the previous events.
Prevention is better than Cure!
In all, the Ebola virus needs to be contained not just through curative measures but also through preventive measures. As mentioned above, Ebola is contagious, but through intimate means. This certainly calls for taking extra precautions while handling people who have contracted the disease, especially if they happen to be the sexual partners. Though research regarding vaccination (apart from the ones available) is “on”, keeping the disease at bay would be a better course of action.