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NURS 5050 Week 1 Fact Sheet on Ebola Virus Disease: An Overview of Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases

Introduction

This fact sheet provides essential information about Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) for educational purposes, particularly targeting students in schools. EVD is caused by the Ebola virus, a member of the filovirus family. The disease first emerged in 1976 during simultaneous outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. This fact sheet outlines key aspects of EVD, including its origins, implications for healthcare systems and economies, prevention measures, diagnostic methods, and treatment approaches.

Origins and Spread

The exact source and cause of Ebola outbreaks are not yet fully understood. Research suggests that the disease may have originated from an individual infected with bats. The first recorded outbreaks occurred in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan, leading to the identification of the Ebola virus.

NURS 5050 Week 1 Fact Sheet on Ebola Virus Disease: An Overview of Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases Implications for Healthcare and Economy

The spread of EVD has significant implications for healthcare systems and economies. The disease has a devastating impact on healthcare systems, diverting resources and undermining the treatment of other diseases like HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis. The closure of boundaries to limit the virus’s spread affects the economy, with countries such as Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone experiencing substantial economic losses during the 2016 outbreak.

NURS 5050 Week 1 Fact Sheet on Ebola Virus Disease: An Overview of Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases Prevention and Control

Preventing EVD requires adherence to preventive measures. Individuals can reduce their risk by avoiding known outbreak areas, practicing frequent handwashing, avoiding the consumption of bush meat, and avoiding contact with infected individuals. Infected individuals should isolate themselves and refrain from contact with others until they have fully recovered.

Diagnostic Methods

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a common diagnostic method used to detect Ebola virus infection levels. Patients infected with the virus typically exhibit symptoms such as fever, body aches, weakness, fatigue, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Treatment Approaches

Currently, there is no known cure for Ebola virus infection. Treatment primarily focuses on supportive care. Supportive care includes intravenous fluid and electrolyte administration, maintenance of oxygen levels, blood pressure support, management of vomiting and diarrhea, and treatment of associated infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that supportive care provides a 50 percent chance of recovery.

NURS 5050 Week 1 Fact Sheet on Ebola Virus Disease: An Overview of Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases Conclusion

Ebola Virus Disease is an emerging and re-emerging infectious disease with severe implications for healthcare systems and economies. Preventive measures, early detection through PCR testing, and supportive care are crucial in managing and containing outbreaks. Public awareness and education are vital in preventing the spread of EVD and minimizing its impact on individuals and communities.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Ebola (Ebola virus disease). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/index.html?s_cid=cs_4318

Lamontagne, F., Fowler, R. A., Adhikari, N. K., Murthy, S., Brett-Major, D. M., Jacobs, M., … & Fletcher, T. E. (2018). Evidence-based guidelines for supportive care of patients with Ebola virus disease. The Lancet, 391(10121), 700-708. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31795-6

Mulangu, S., Dodd, L. E., Davey Jr, R. T., Tshiani Mbaya, O., Proschan, M., Mukadi, D., … & Ali, R. (2019). A randomized, controlled trial of Ebola virus disease therapeutics. New England Journal of Medicine, 381(24), 2293-2303. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1910993

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