What is the Treatment for Ebola?

Lee Prangnell

Ebola is a potentially terminal viral haemorrhagic fever — a haemorrhagic fever is a fever that causes severe bleeding and potentially the complete failure of the major organs within the human body. There is no known cure or vaccine for Ebola, primarily because it is exceptionally difficult to treat. If an individual is to recover from the disease, it will be because of the strength of the person's own immune system. When an individual is infected with Ebola, such as a patient who is in the latter stages of the disease, the only useful actions that a medical professional can undertake are to administer fluids intravenously, control the bleeding, apply consistent oxygen levels and treat the associated infections. Chlorine is used by medical professionals to terminate the virus in an external setting.

Administering fluids and medication intravenously is important because quick action is necessary in treating those suffering from Ebola.
Administering fluids and medication intravenously is important because quick action is necessary in treating those suffering from Ebola.

Ebola was discovered in the Republic of Zaire — now called the Democratic Republic of Congo — in 1976 after a major outbreak of the virus occurred. The worst outbreak of the virus occurred in September to October 1976, during which there were 318 infections and 280 deaths. In terms of the way in which medical professionals deal with an outbreak situation, containment of the infected patients is the most effective method to ensure that the virus does not spread to other areas of the uninfected population.

Fever that causes bleeding and failure of the major organs is referred to as a haemorrhagic fever.
Fever that causes bleeding and failure of the major organs is referred to as a haemorrhagic fever.

Primary symptoms of the Ebola include fever, flu like symptoms, weakness and general pain. If the disease progresses to an advanced stage, the symptoms become very serious. The later symptoms of Ebola typically include acute liver and kidney failure along with internal bleeding. The final stage of the disease includes symptoms such as multiple organ failure, internal bleeding and external bleeding from every orifice. If a person is going to survive the infection, he or she must not enter the later stages of this disease, because progressing to these stages will ultimately lead to severe pain and death.

Flu-like symptoms may be experienced by people suffering from Ebola.
Flu-like symptoms may be experienced by people suffering from Ebola.

In terms of vaccines and treatments for the Ebola virus, leading scientists, governmental organizations and educational institutions have endeavored to find a long-term and sustainable treatment. The main issue with the virus is its dynamic nature and the speed at which it permeates and penetrates the human body. The swift replication of the virus, for example, overwhelms the body's immune system.

Later symptoms of Ebola may include kidney failure.
Later symptoms of Ebola may include kidney failure.
Symptoms of Ebola may include multiple organ failure.
Symptoms of Ebola may include multiple organ failure.
Antisera purified from the blood of Ebola survivors has been used to successfully treat people who have been exposed to the virus.
Antisera purified from the blood of Ebola survivors has been used to successfully treat people who have been exposed to the virus.

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