No doubt,that medical researches are always in progress and many advancements have been made in the field of Bio-medical sciences,to improve the Quality of life,But everyday is a Challenge for the research workers ,to cope up with a ‘sudden exposure to a deadly disease’.In case of Ebola,one such thing just happened.
It was a Summer morning(1976),in the city of Kikwit,Zaire(population 400,000),A hospital laboratory technician woke up like usual,but he had a fever along with headache,with aching muscle and shoulders,he rushed to his work place and swung his arms in loose circles in order to get rid of this growing pain,but the pain worsen.He felt a heavy fatigue and crampy Abdominal pain,he considered it as Flu,Sweating badly,he filled a cup with water,suddenly his hands showed the trembling movement,A feeling of thorns in his throat grew,as he swallowed,his gut pain intensified along with Hiccups,he rushed to the rest room,with a large bowel movement.There he noticed the bloody diarrhea,and Slumped to the ground he coughed And bleeding started from his nose and mouth.
The Physicians were helpless to determine the cause of this sudden worse condition,suspected that he must be suffering from a perforated bowel but within a two-week period,multiple hospital personnel became ill in his presence,confirming that the disease was epidemic.while they all were having the similar symptoms of high fever,diarrhea,Dysphagia,weakness,hiccups,bleeding from the mucus membrane and the Gastro-intestinal tract.The disease was affecting both male and female alike.
The first outbreak of Ebola infected over 284 people in Sudan,with a maximum number of deaths,according to a report it was having a mortality rate of about 53%.
Later on,the second Ebola virus strain Reported from Yambuku,Zaire,called as Ebola-Zaire[EBOZ],affected 318 people with a death rate up-to 88% .
Another Strain of Ebola Virus,[EBOR] was reported from Reston,Virginia,in 1989,when infected monkeys were brought to Reston from Phillipines. But those people who once suffered from it ,never showed the sign and symptoms of this hemorrhagic fever again,providing researchers with the light of “idea” in the Darkest hours of Ebola-cure Research.
Then in 1994,the Last Strain of Ebola was reported called as ‘Ebola-Cote d’ lvoire'[EBO-Cl],after the name of a female ethologist,’Cote d’ lvoire’, who accidentally infected herself during the Necropsy on a Dead Chimpanzee (brought from the Tai Forest)
hence The name ‘Ebola’ is given to this RNA Virus,after Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo,Africa.
This virus affects after binding to the host cell,attack on macrophages and monocytes,depletion of white blood cells and the platelets occur,release of large amount of cytokines which results in an increase in vascular endothelial-permeability,facilitating the viral entry into the endothelial cells,and this results in bleeding and progressing the disease towards death with severe bleeding. Mean time, Ebola destroys the hepatocytes,which further enhances the viral-escape from the body’s immune responses.Replicating in the Cytoplasm,as infected cells secretes more GP,this protein is used to create the ‘surface spikes’ of newly-formed viruses.hence more viruses are produced which results in more destruction of the internal organs,resulting in Death of the individual.
This member of Filoviridae family,which are also called as Filo-viruses (as Structurally resembling the Filament),has the incubation period of about 2 to 21 days(while incubation period is the time from the entry of virus into host cell to the onset of symptoms).It is a Popular “Zoonotic virus” i.e the transmission is from animals to human,including Chimpanzees,gorillas,Forest Antelopes,Monkeys,Porcupines,and Fruit-bats.However,person to person contact results in transmission either from the body fluids i.e from Saliva,Sweat,Urine,Vomit,Breast-milk, and Semen (it may remain alive in semen for about as long as three months),and from the needles and other medical equipment used for that individual.
In 2014,Ebola Outbreak Sweeps West Africa,Started with a 2-year old child,after the bite of an infected fruit-bat.Within a week the child and his mother died,and two mysterious Deaths were Reported.The transmission was as rapid as the people in the funeral suffered from the same disease,while the cause was unknown still.
In order to determine the Cause of these mysterious Deaths,A Strong Team of European and African Topical Diseases Researchers,Anthropologists,and Ecologists was established who worked day and night for about three Difficult weeks,to investigate the cause of the Outbreak of this Deadly disease.However,the Bats near the Meliandou (A small Village in Remote Eastern Guinea), were found to be the main source of this epidemic disease.As fruit-bats are widely eaten in rural-west Africa,either as Smoked,Grilled,or in the form of hot spicy soup,the Flesh of these Dead infected bats was the main reason behind the mysterious deaths,which filled the graveyards with dead-bodies of those innocent victims.
The disease which once started with a flue like symptom,became the deadliest monster for the whole World.But this Monster was found to be non-effective in case of Ebola-Recovered people,as the anti-bodies to fight against Ebola were developed in their bodies.
Prevention from Ebola includes the measures of Avoidance from the sources which results in transmission such as body fluids,needles,medical Equipments and by keeping a good careful hygiene,refraining from engaging in burial rituals where people come in contact with the dead-body of Ebola Victim.wearing protective gloves,gowns,masks, and protective eye-shield while visiting the Ebola-victims
No matter how fast the research progresses,Still Ebola has no cure or Vaccine,only management is possible to provide Comfort to the victim and increase his Life Span either by,maintaining the blood pressure,managing the balance of electrolytes in body or providing intravenous fluids to prevent water loss and preventing other infections to occur.
There are Several Organizations involved in the Prevention and Awareness Programs,in order to prevent the Ebola outbreaks further including the FAO,which is working closely with WHO(World Health Organization),to raise the awareness of transmission risks from wildlife among the rural communities,who hunts for the bat-meat.
Nevertheless,a large number of people died in this Epidemic disease,but even in the darkest hours of this hopelessness,there is still a light of Hope in the form of survivors,like Osman Sesay and Kadiatu (Sierra leone),having Sparkle of life in their eyes,they were thankful to the care-providers that in the worse part of their lives,the care-providers were there providing them with food,medicines and consoling them,helping them in surviving in those “Darkest hours of their lives”.