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​Frequently Asked Questions on Ebola Virus Disease

<p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;"><img src="/nairobi/PublishingImages/Ebola%20Alert%20body.jpg" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/></strong> </p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">What is Ebola virus disease?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Ebola virus disease is an illness that occurs when one is infected by Ebola virus. The Ebola virus is thought to reside in bats and periodically causes disease in humans in West, Central and East Africa.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">How does one get infected with Ebola?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Infection most commonly occurs when one comes into contact with another infected person. Body fluids (blood/saliva/vomit etc) from the infected person contain the virus and this can pass on to another person through small breaks in their skin and the linings of the eyes, nose or mouth.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">What are some of the symptoms of Ebola virus disease?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Symptoms start about 4-10 days after the virus has entered the body. The initial symptoms resemble those of malaria and may include fever, weakness, tiredness and muscle pains. After about three days, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain may occur. One week later, an infected person may become severely ill with bleeding from several sites, shock and organ failure.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">Is there any treatment available?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Several investigational treatments have been developed and continue to be evaluated. Prevention with vaccines has been successfully done. The vaccines are given to those who have had contact with infected people.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">What is the current situation in East Africa?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Several cases have been reported in Mubende District, Central Uganda recently. The first case was confirmed on 19th September 2022.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">What should I do if I suspect coming into contact with someone with Ebola or if I think I may have Ebola disease?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Contact your health care provider via phone. It is important to limit contact and not come directly to the hospital if you suspect having had contact with an infected person or if you suspect that you may have gotten infected. Your health care provider can then assess the situation and provide further guidance.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">What can I do to prevent myself from contracting the virus?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Avoid traveling to areas that have been flagged to have had cases and their environs and avoid getting into contact with someone suspected to have the disease. For those who come into contact with patients suspected to have Ebola virus disease, alert your health care provider.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;"><strong><em>By Dr Felix Riunga, Section Head, Infectious Disease at Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi</em></strong>

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