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- Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola virus disease) facts
- What is Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
- What is the history of Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
- What causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
- What are risk factors for Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
- What are Ebola virus disease symptoms and signs?
- How do physicians diagnose Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
- What is the treatment for Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
- What are complications of Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
- What is the prognosis of Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
- Is it possible to prevent Ebola hemorrhagic fever? Is there a vaccine for Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
- What is the latest research on Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
Quick GuideEbola Virus Pictures Slideshow: Outbreak, Symptoms, and Facts
What causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
The cause of Ebola hemorrhagic fever is Ebola virus infection that results in coagulation abnormalities, including gastrointestinal bleeding, development of a rash, cytokine release, damage to the liver, and massive viremia (large number of viruses in the blood) that leads to damaged vascular cells that form blood vessels. As the massive viremia continues, coagulation factors are compromised and the microvascular endothelial cells are damaged or destroyed, resulting in diffuse bleeding internally and externally (bleeding from the mucosal surfaces like nasal passages and/or mouth and gums and even from the eyes [termed conjunctival bleeding]). This uncontrolled bleeding leads to blood and fluid loss and can cause hypotensive shock that causes death in many Ebola-infected patients.
What are risk factors for Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
The risk factors for Ebola hemorrhagic fever are travel to areas where Ebola infections (see current CDC travel advisories for African countries) have been reported. In addition, association with animals (mainly primates in the area where Ebola infections have been reported) is potentially a risk factor according to the CDC. Another potential source of the virus is eating or handling "bush meat." Bush meat is the meat of wild animals, including hoofed animals, primates, bats, and rodents. Evidence for any airborne transmission of this virus is lacking. During Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreaks, health-care workers and family members and friends associated with an infected person are at the highest risk of getting the disease. Researchers who study Ebola hemorrhagic fever viruses are also at risk of developing the disease if a laboratory accident occurs. Caring for infected patients who are near-death or disposing of bodies of individuals that have recently died of Ebola infection is a very high risk factor because in these situations, the Ebola virus is highly concentrated in any blood or bodily secretions. Caregivers are recommended to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (See the CDC site http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/healthcare-us/hospitals/infection-control.html for details).