Everything you need to know about Ebola
SEE ALSO :Congo Ebola spreading faster: WHOThe family had attended the burial of an Ebola patient in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The outbreak in Congo, the second largest on record, has infected more than 2,000 people and caused 1,390 deaths since it was discovered in July 2018. Kenya has since intensified screening at the border entry points of Busia and Malaba. The Ministry of Health, in a communiqué to newsrooms, listed seven preventive mechanisms targeting travellers from Uganda and DRC. “We appeal to members of the public to remain vigilant and report any suspected cases of persons presenting above symptoms and with a history of recent travel to affected countries, to the nearest health facility or Health’s Emergency Operations Centre through the following hotlines 0732353535/0729471414,” it read in part. As the authorities race to contain the deadly virus, here's what you need to know about Ebola and what's being done to stop its spread:
SEE ALSO :Ebola death toll in DRC passes 750: WHOHowever, it takes 42 days for a country to be declared free of Ebola transmission. WHO doubles the 21-day incubation period of the virus to ensure no new infections are happening. Transmission It is thought that fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts. Humans get the virus when they get into close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals. You can also get the virus when you touch the objects that have been contaminated with body fluids (like blood, faeces, vomit) from an infected person. Health care workers have frequently been infected while treating Ebola patients. Burial ceremonies where mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased person have also led to the spread. WHO notes, people remain infectious as long as their blood contains the virus. Cure There is no known cure for the disease just yet, but scientists are scrambling to find one. Patients are, however, put on supportive care (rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids) while doctors treat specific symptoms to improve survival. Vaccine? An experimental Ebola vaccine, rVSV-ZEBOV, was tried out in Guinea in 2015. Among the 5837 people who received the vaccine, no Ebola cases were recorded 10 days or more after vaccination. The vaccine is currently in use in DRC. How can you prevent and control the disease? Reduce the risk of wildlife-to-human transmission with no contact with infected fruit bats, monkeys, apes, forest antelope or porcupines and or eating of their raw meat. Thoroughly cook animal products before consuming them. Always ensure a safe and dignified burial of the dead, identifying people who may have been in contact with someone infected with Ebola and monitoring their health for 21 days. WHO also recommends that male survivors of EVD practice safer sex and hygiene for 12 months from onset of symptoms or until their semen tests negative twice for Ebola virus. Sources: Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organisation.