The Spotlight on Ebola
Ebola can be best described as one of the most deadly viruses to affect our species. It is highly contagious, with death rates up to 90 percent. Combating and treating this deadly infection has proved to be quite a challenge, as not many have survived the current epidemic that has struck African countries.
Inter-human transmission is one of the main causes of this disease. Direct contact with the infected patient's blood, body fluids, semen, saliva etc. can spread the disease.
The diagnosis of this disease is based on a person's travel history within the last month, to the countries where disease is ongoing (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria). Dr. Nitin Shinde Consultant, Infectious Disease and Travel Medicine, Wockhardt Hospitals, Nagpur says that in India, the standard diagnostic test is blood-PCR. This test is available at National Communicable Disease Control Centre (NCDC), New Delhi and National Virological Institute, Pune.
Currently the treatment options are mainly only supportive in nature. Healthcare professionals focus on providing adequate intravenous fluids to the infected patients. They then concentrate on avoiding and managing thr complications.
It is essential to know that there is no specific drug or vaccine available as of now for this disease.
There has been no confirmed case of Ebola in India till now. The messages being spread on social media are spam. Tulsi leaves will not help in keeping the virus at bay. Additionally, the fact about drinking warm water with salt will certainly not help in any way.
Air travel is the most important risk factor for spread of disease between the countries. So people coming to India from any of these Ebola infected countries should be scanned thoroughly. Apart from that, it is unlikely that this disease will reach India.
Dr Nitin also adds that currently there is no need to panic about this disease. However, considering the potential implications of spread of this infection, preparedness is the key to handle possible outbreak.
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