Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a disease caused by four different strains of
Ebola virus; these viruses infect humans and nonhuman primates.
It is also
referred to as Ebola virus disease.
Ebola hemorrhagic fever has a short
history since it was discovered in 1976. There have been a few outbreaks, including the current (April 2014) "unprecedented epidemic" in Africa.
Ebola viruses are mainly found
in primates in Africa and possibly the Philippines; there are only occasional
outbreaks of infection in humans.
Ebola hemorrhagic fever occurs mainly in
Africa in the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Sudan, Ivory Coast, and Uganda, but
occur in other African countries.
Ebola virus can be spread by direct contact
with blood and secretions, by contact with blood and secretions that remain on
clothing, and by needles and/or syringes used to treat Ebola-infected patients.
Risk factors for Ebola hemorrhagic fever are travel to areas with endemic
Ebola hemorrhagic fever and/or any close association with an infected person.
Early clinical diagnosis is difficult as the symptoms are
nonspecific; however, if the patient is suspected to have Ebola, the patient
needs to be isolated and local and state health departments need to be
Definitive diagnostic tests for Ebola hemorrhagic fever
are ELISA and/or PCR tests; viral cultivation and biopsy samples may also be
There is no standard treatment for Ebola hemorrhagic fever; only
supportive therapy is available.
There are many complications from Ebola
hemorrhagic fever; the prognosis for patients ranges from fair to poor since
many patients died from the disease (death rate equals about 25%-100%).
Prevention of Ebola hemorrhagic fever is difficult; early testing and isolation of the patient, plus barrier protection for caregivers (mask, gown, goggles, and gloves), is very important to prevent others from getting infected.
Researchers are trying to understand the Ebola virus and pinpoint its
ecological reservoirs to better understand how outbreaks occur. Researchers are
actively trying to establish an effective vaccine against Ebola viruses by using
several experimental methods, but there is no vaccine available currently.