Ebola has emerged as a global health issue affecting many populations worldwide in recent years. The virus belongs to the Filoviridae family and consists of six different species, with the Zaire strain being the most common in current outbreaks and infections (CDC n.d.). The incubation period for Ebola is typically between 2 and 21 days in susceptible individuals. The virus is transmitted through direct contact with infected bodily fluids and items contaminated with these secretions. The fatality rate for those infected can reach up to 50 percent, although early diagnosis and supportive treatment can increase the chances of survival (CDC n.d.).
The original host of the Ebolavirus is believed to be the fruit bat, but it can also be traced back to other wild animals such as fruit flies, porcupines, and primates. The early signs and symptoms of Ebola include fever, fatigue, muscle aches and pains, headache, and sore throat. These symptoms often make it challenging to differentiate the exact viral infection, as many viruses present similar symptoms. Subsequent symptoms include more severe vomiting, diarrhea, impaired kidney and liver functions, internal and external bleeding, decreased white blood cell and platelet counts, and increased liver enzymes. Infected hosts can only transmit the virus when they are actively exhibiting symptoms and not during the incubation period (CDC n.d.).
Specific diagnosis of Ebola is made through various blood tests, including the ELISA test, antigen-capture detection test, serum neutralization test, electron microscopy, and virus isolation by cell culture (CDC n.d.). The World Health Organization (WHO), operating under the United Nations, oversees international monitoring of the Ebola virus. The WHO is considered the global guardian of public health and security, actively involved in establishing preventative and reactive programs and education to minimize the risk of outbreaks in different populations (GCU 2018).
The response by the WHO to Ebola outbreaks includes supporting local and state health departments in disease detection, tracing the outbreak’s source, providing laboratory services, controlling the spread of infection, and implementing safe burial practices to prevent the transmission of the virus (CDC n.d.). The WHO also offers preventative services through education at all levels to prevent outbreaks and disrupt the chain of infection (CDC n.d.).
In conclusion, Ebola has become a significant global health issue, with multiple outbreaks occurring in recent years. The virus is transmitted through direct contact with infected bodily fluids and contaminated items. Early diagnosis and supportive treatment increase the chances of survival. The WHO plays a crucial role in monitoring and responding to Ebola outbreaks, providing support, education, and preventive measures to minimize the risk of further spread. Overall, international collaboration and coordinated efforts are vital in effectively addressing and controlling this health threat.