The Ebola virus : vigilance Mauritanian authorities justified response to the epidemic
In recent days, several countries in West Africa are mobilizing against an outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever virus. The epidemic has already killed more than 85 victims in Guinea , following the announcement of the first suspected case in Mali , after Liberia and Sierra Leone. Faced with an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen by the distribution of the number of cases , the countries of West Africa are concerned . This is in order to protect its populations that Mauritania has closed since last Tuesday borders with Mali and Senegal leaving for the last two crossings at Rosso and Diama .
These actions by the Mauritanian authorities are extremely reassuring. They are necessary to limit the spread of the disease - it is always better safe than sorry -
This article aims to educate the Mauritanian public disregards the disease .
What is Ebola virus?
It is a viral disease ( caused by a virus ), which takes its name from a river near Yambuku , Democratic Republic of Congo. It is in this place that the causative virus was identified in 1976. Since then, other cases have been reported , mainly in African countries, often causing many casualties . The epidemic has killed 1,500 in 35 years according to Dr. Tordo , virologist and head of laboratory at the Pasteur Institute of Paris
What are the symptoms ?
Symptoms of the disease are characterized by a rise in fever with extreme fatigue , muscle pain , headache and sore throat . Then occur diarrhea , vomiting , skin rashes , and internal and external bleeding.
How is the virus?
One week after the onset of symptoms , the virus invades the blood and body cells . Clots form and block the arrival of oxygenated blood in the patient's organs , causing necrosis and hemorrhage . Death occurs by cardio- respiratory shock.
How can we fight against the virus?
To fight against the virus, it is necessary to understand its mode of transmission and take appropriate preventive measures . Transmission occurs by handling or eating food contaminated with the virus ( monkeys or bats) animals. A healthy person can also be infected by direct contact with body fluids from an infected person, living or deceased . These fluids include blood , semen, secretions , saliva, etc. . Prevention of infection is therefore to avoid contact with infected animals and people .
The following precautions can help prevent infection and spread of the virus :
1. Avoid traveling to areas of homes. Before traveling , it is important to learn about the epidemic situation in the country of your destination. This is a preventive measure that the Mauritanian authorities closed the borders with Mali or suspected cases have been reported.
2 . Wash hands frequently. As for many other infectious diseases , preventive measures base is to wash hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based disinfectants (at least 60 %).
3 . Avoid consuming the meat of wild animals. In some neighboring countries , the meat of wild animals (including monkeys and bats) , is sold in local markets . Some of these animals are reservoirs for the virus. Consumers of the meat from these animals are exposed to high risk of contamination.
4. Avoid contact with infected people . The health professionals are the most exposed to the extent that they are the first to be in contact with patients. They must work with extreme caution to avoid contact with liquids and body tissues of patients ( blood, semen, vaginal secretions and saliva). People with Ebola are more contagious in the later stages of the disease. The health professionals should wear protective clothing (gloves, masks, gowns and eye protection). They must keep infected people to avoid isolation and they are in contact with other patients (not infected by Ebola ) . They should also thoroughly disinfect their equipment and avoid the reuse of needles and syringes.
Avoid handling patients who died of Ebola because they are still highly contagious . 5. The mortuary wash ( washing of the dead ) can promote the spread of the virus. The deceased must be supported by teams formed at the funeral who must use appropriate safety equipment.
Can we vaccinate , treat or cure disease ?
To date , there is no vaccine or cure available. Depending on the aggressiveness of the virus strain , 50-90 % of those infected die . Some patients survive by miracle , but can keep neurological sequelae , liver or serious eye .
Dr. Sall Alhousseynou