In order to reduce the risk of getting infected by Ebola Virus one needs to follow Infection Control practices and general awareness among travelers and good hospitals infection control practices are the most crucial element to stop this epidemic believes Consultant Infectious Disease, Wockhard Hospitals Nagpur, Dr. Nitin Shinde
The diagnosis of this disease is based on history of travel within last one month to the countries where disease is ongoing. The standard diagnostic test is blood-PCR which is available at National Virological Institute, Pune and National Communicable Disease Control Center (NCDC), New Delhi. The treatment is mainly supportive. The focus is on providing adequate intravenous fluids to the patient and management of complications if any. There is no specific drug or vaccine which is available for this disease informed Consultant Infectious Disease, Wockhard Hospitals Nagpur Dr. Nitin Shinde.
Dr. Nitin Shinde said “Preparedness is the key to handle any outbreak. Stringent Infection Control practices can turn down the epidemic. The key infection control measures are isolation of patients, diligent environmental cleaning and disinfection, and protection of healthcare providers”
He further added that there are thousands of Indian citizens residing in epidemic African countries, who are expected to return back in due course of time. Though, India is home for the fruit bats which are reservoir for this virus, the virus has never been isolated in Indian subcontinent, Therefore , it is not unlikely to encounter a suspected Ebola virus disease patient at any point of time.
Centre Head of Wockhardt Hospitals in Nagpur K. Sujatha Agarawal said “Wockhardt Hospitals has the medical expert on Infectious disease & a robust infection control program apart from required resources to handle the disease. We also have sensitized our clinical & non clinical regarding the virus.”
Dr. Nitin Shinde talking to the press personnel said that many times when the patients seek medical help, they are treated by medical staff without any suspicion. Generally, infection prevention practices of many hospitals are not good. This leads to rapid spread of the disease in the hospital employees. This situation had resulted into hospital shutdown at the time of previous epidemics.
Ebola Virus outbreaks-Facts
Ebola virus is one of the deadliest virus which exist on this planet. It is extremely contagious and death rates are up to 90% – observed in earlier epidemics. The reservoirs for this virus are fruit bats. They harbor the virus without getting the disease. These bats contaminate the fruits which are then eaten by wild animals. The wild animals develop the disease and die off. Thus humans develop the disease once they come in contact with the infected animals. Consumption of meat of these wild animals also helps to spread the disease further.
The virus gets transmitted by direct contact with the infected patient. Blood, body fluids, semen, saliva etc all contain the virus and can infect another person. Rapid inter-human transmission is one of the key features of this disease. It was observed that the virus can generate aerosols and infect monkeys in the laboratory however humans cannot infect another human through the airborne route.
Individuals who are not symptomatic are not contagious. In order for the virus to be transmitted, an individual would have to have direct contact with an individual who is experiencing symptoms.