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Ebola Outbreak 2021: Origin, Causes and Cure of Disease

Image for representation. (AFP)

Image for representation. (AFP)

The World Health Organization (WHO) is planning to help Guinea get the vaccine for the Ebola virus. This vaccine has helped in controlling the spread of the virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Two people have died in Guinea while other countries in West Africa are on high alert as there is an Ebola outbreak. On Sunday, February 14, Guinea declared the current cases in one of its regions as Ebola outbreak. After the 2014-16 outbreak which had killed 11,000 people, this is the first time that the disease has been reported again in the country. The World Health Organization (WHO) is planning to help Guinea get the vaccine for the Ebola virus. This vaccine has helped in controlling the spread of the virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

First discovered near the Ebola River in Congo, the ebola virus is a rare and deadly virus that can infect human beings and other primates. There were two virus outbreaks that were recognized simultaneously in 1976. One was in South Sudan’s Nzara and the other one was in Congo’s Yambuku village near the Ebola River from where the virus has derived its name. Since then, the viral outbreak is considered to be dangerous as it has proved fatal in many cases.

Also read: Scientists Say Fatal Ebola-like 'Chapare Virus' Can be Transferred Between Humans through Bodily Fluids

 Ebola virus disease (EVD) is caused by the four viruses of the genus Ebolavirus. It is spread when a healthy person comes in contact with body fluids or the blood of the infected person. Reportedly, the virus cannot spread through sweat and it can be transmitted through saliva only if the person is heavily infected with the ebola virus. If a person suffers from EVD then they may suffer from fever, diarrhea, body ache. The ebola virus has the potential to also damage the immune system of those who have been affected.

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So far, a cure for the disease caused by the Ebola virus has not been discovered. However, there are two drugs namely Inmazeb and Ebanga that have been approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The symptoms can be controlled by supportive hospital care.

Vaccine for EVD named rVSV-ZEBOV which was discovered in 2019 in the United States has been found to be effective ten days after being administered.

Previously, the Ebola outbreak happened in Congo in 2020 when 130 cases of the virus infection were reported.

first published:February 16, 2021, 13:44 IST