Infectious Diseases: Is there any form of treatment for Ebola?

Mudassir Ali
Mar 11, 2020 11:05 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Mar 11, 2020 11:05 AM

Originally Answered: How can the Ebola virus be stopped?
The only way to stop outbreaks of viral infections such as Ebola is to prevent infection…

Ebola is spread by direct contact with body fluids of infected people (dead or alive). It would seem a relatively simple process to prevent (and it is in theory), but in practice even trained medical professionals get infected…

However, the usual processes instituted in these situations are incredibly hard to implement effectively in a place like the DRC…

The population of the DRC is largely uneducated and unsophisticated (particularly as regards understanding viral infections in general and Ebola specifically) and therefore do not understand nor accept what they are told about how Ebola spreads. Many would ascribe infections and death from Ebola to witchcraft as much as anything else!

Most of the population would be incredibly skeptical and distrustful of foreign aid organisations trying to tell them what to do. Fear of hospitals set up by MSF and others to treat Ebola cases would be high since nearly everyone who goes there never returns…Soldiers are not regarded with any positivity in the DRC and their involvement in measures to halt the spread of Ebola will not be met with any confidence in those communities. Soldiers in these places are just thought of as murderous kleptomaniacs!

Complicating matter vastly is that a state of civil war exists in the areas of the DRC where the Ebola outbreak is current. Apart from the normal movements of people for conventional reasons there are also many people fleeing the violence and killing (and as mentioned above none of these people will trust anyone with a gun). Considering that a large part of the strategy of preventing infection with Ebola involves preventing incidental contact between those infected with Ebola and those not, having people fleeing in all directions in an uncontrolled manner does not exactly help!

A further issue complicating the control of the outbreak is that there are a number of big population centres involved in the outbreak area. Unlike in every other Ebola outbreak (apart from the one in West Africa – and we know how that one turned out!) occurred in very isolated villages where preventing spread to other populated areas was relatively easy, this is not the case here…The borders of both Uganda and South Sudan and the Central African Republic are close by as well…

Whether this outbreak can eventually be controlled is yet to be determined! However, given what the situation once was in West Africa at the height of the Ebola epidemic there I was frankly shocked (pleasantly) that that epidemic was brought under control and stopped, So, although the situation in the DRC is at least as serious as that in West Africa all hope is not lost.

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