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Causes, symptoms and prevention of Ebola

Humans may spread Ebola virus to other humans through contact with bodily fluids such as blood. Initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain and chills. Later, a person may experience internal bleeding resulting in vomiting or coughing blood. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – Following the death of the 5-year-old boy from Congo who died of Ebola this week in Kasese district. Here are some precautions against the deadly epidemic.

Ebola is a deadly disease caused by a virus. The virus spreads through the body, it damages the immune system and organs and causes levels of blood clotting cells.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the average fatality rate from Ebola is around 50 percent, varying from 25 to 90 percent.

The virus was first identified in 1976 by a team that included a young Belgian microbiologist, Peter Piot, who later founded UNAIDS, the United Nations’ agency against HIV/AIDS.

They named the virus after a river in the DRC — then known as Zaire — that was close to the location of the first known outbreak.

The ministry of health has on June 13 issued the causes, prevention, signs and symptoms of Ebola as a way of creating awareness to the public.

Causes of Ebola

The virus is highly contagious, making it difficult to contain especially in urban environments.

It is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads among humans through close contact with the blood, body fluids, vomit, sweat, secretions or organs of an infected person.

Ebola is believed to reside in bats, which do not themselves fall ill but can pass it on.

Chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines can also become infected, and humans who kill and eat these animals can catch the virus through them.

Signs and symptoms of Ebola.

The signs and symptoms manifest within 20 to 21 days of contact with an infected person before which period, it cannot be contagious.

Some of the obvious symptoms of Ebola include|; sudden fever, intense body weakness, intense muscle and joint pain, headaches, sore throat are often followed by vomiting and diarrhoea, skin eruptions, kidney and liver failure, internal and external bleeding.

Prevention of Ebola

Avoid direct contact with body fluids from any person who is suspected of or has been infected with Ebola.

If you must handle a patient with Ebola, wear protective materials such as gloves, masks, body-protective gear and boots among others.

Ebola victims must be buried immediately by a trained burial team to prevent the spread of the disease.

In case you handle a person suspected with Ebola, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Uganda was infected for the first time in 2000 by a strain of Ebola that spread from Sudan. It claimed 224 lives.

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