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Health and MedicineDiseasesHow to prevent the Ebola virus

How to prevent the Ebola virus

Can Ebola virus infection be prevented? Discover some basic recommendations to follow for the prevention of the Ebola virus.

In December of last year 2013, the first case of Ebola was identified, registered in Guinea-Conakry. Since then, 729 people have already lost their lives and the epidemic is spreading “uncontrollably” in western West Africa. According to the experts, we would find ourselves facing the most devastating Ebola outbreak, which has become a real challenge for the health authorities not only of the affected countries, but of practically the entire world due to the possibility that it could spread to more countries.

Ebola is the name of a virus of the Filoviridae family and genus Filo virus. Its name comes from the Ebola River, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it was first identified in 1976 when an epidemic occurred.

It is a virus that causes what is known as Ebola viral hemorrhagic fever, an infectious and highly contagious disease, which is very serious and affects both human beings and other species of the animal kingdom.

Although there is currently no medical treatment aimed at combating the Ebola virus, we do find ourselves facing symptomatic medical treatments for the treatment of fever and pain. On the other hand, there is also no vaccine that prevents its spread, while it has a fatality rate of between 50% and 90%.

So, is it possible to prevent infection by the Ebola virus?

Can the Ebola virus be prevented?

Experts agree that it is possible to prevent the Ebola virus, as long as a series of basic recommendations indicated by the World Health Organization (WHO) itself are followed for the control and prevention of the spread of the Ebola virus.

Bearing in mind that infection between people can only occur through direct contact through wounds or cuts in the skin, or through mucous membranes such as secretions, blood, organs or other body fluids of people who have been infected, prevention in this sense is possible and essential.

Hence, there are quite a few cases among health personnel, since as a general rule contact usually occurs when caring for a person who is already sick with the virus.

How to prevent infection by the Ebola virus?

As we indicated in the previous lines, there is no vaccine against the Ebola virus, so vaccination is in no way a form of prevention. It is true that there are several vaccines that are being tested and are in the experimental phase, but at the moment it is not a valid option.

It is essential to raise public awareness of both the risks of the disease and the protection and hygiene measures that should be adopted.

Constant hand washing stands out. On the other hand, it is advisable to always touch the animals with gloves, especially if they are being handled, and to cook their meat well.

Between people, close physical contact with the sick should be avoided. In the event that they are health personnel, it is very important to always attend to them using protective clothing, gloves and glasses.

We summarize below the main preventive tips to avoid the spread of the Ebola virus:

Reducing the risk of human infection:

  • Reduce contact with wild animals that could be infected, such as apes, monkeys and bats.
  • Avoid eating raw meat.
  • When handling animals, always use gloves and protective clothing.
  • Use special gloves, masks and gowns to reduce the risk of person-to-person transmission.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water, especially after visiting sick relatives in the hospital.

Prevention of infection in health centers:

  • Use of isolation measures.
  • Use of necessary equipment (such as gowns, gloves and masks) to reduce the risk of transmission from patients to health personnel.


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