Health Hub Vijayawada

‘Need to be on guard against Ebola’

International travel has reduced the size of the world and an Ebola epidemic in West Africa is a risk to everyone even here. Senior physician at the ESI hospital and an expert on infectious diseases T.V. Narayana Rao says that Ebola virus is very much like dengue virus, but far more virulent with a high mortality rate of between 50 and 90 per cent. He says that the case in Chennai turned out to be “negative”. But there is a need to be on the guard particularly with people who had undertaken international travel.

The source of the disease is still a big mystery. But for a few theories about different “animal reservoirs” there was no evidence. Bats (flying foxes) are being named as animal reservoirs of Ebola and according to another theory it is Chimpanzees.

Humans who go deep into the forest are known to have contracted the disease from time to time. But once the humans are infected, the disease spreads from one human to another through “close contact”.

Dr Narayana Rao says that the countries where Ebola is wreaking havoc are all countries with very poor health infrastructure. The high mortality rate and poor knowledge of the vectors is a cause of panic for those in the medical profession and all others. But even if there is one case it become like a “time bomb”.

Meanwhile, information shared on the internet and in the media is causing ‘unnecessary panic.’ While there is need to quarantine those who come from the African continent, mails suggesting that people should eat only food prepared by them is a little far fetched.

Fumigating to get rid of rodents may not be foolproof because there is no evidence to say that rodents are carriers.

The Ebola symptoms are like the same as other viral infections — fever, headache, diarrhoea, vomiting, weakness, muscle-joint pains, stomach ache and lack of appetite.

It always pays to be vigilant when there is an epidemic. The world is truly a smaller place for the spread of viral infections, say the experts.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 11:46:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/need-to-be-on-guard-against-ebola/article6309654.ece

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