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Viral Diseases - EBOLA

(African Hemorrhagic Fever)

AGENT:

Similar to Marburg morphologically similar but antigenically distinct. Both are RNA Filoviruses and have bizarre branching and filamentous or tubular forms shared with no other known virus group.

RESERVOIR AND INCIDENCE:

Reservoirs unknown. Monkeys are probably accidental hosts, along with humans. First recognized in 1976 in Northern Zaire and Southern Sudan, 500 cases with 350 deaths reported.

TRANSMISSION:

Person-to-person transmission occurs by direct contact with infected blood, secretions, organs or semen. Nosocomial infections have been frequent; all Zaire cases acquired from contaminated syringes and needles died.

DISEASE IN MAN:

Fever, headache, malaise, followed by chest discomfort, diarrhea, and vomiting. Case fatality rate is 50-90%.

DIAGNOSIS:

IFA, ELISA, Western blot, EM, or virus isolation.

TREATMENT:

Supportive. Possibly immune serum.

PREVENTION/CONTROL:

Strict quarantine on newly imported, wild-caught primates. Naturally infected monkeys should become ill or die within several weeks. Hygiene, sanitation, and protective clothing.  Isolation of human patients with prevention of sexual intercourse until semen is free of virus.

  • Ebola