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Communicable diseases: 9. Viral pathogen diseases - Ebola virus and Hepatitis virus

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There are various sections to work through, after 1 they can be read and studied in any order.

Sub-index of biology notes on communicable diseases

(9) Examples of viral pathogen communicable diseases

(9a) Ebola is caused by a virus causing a fever accompanied by bleeding (haemorrhagic fever).

Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) is a deadly virus - 50-90% 0f infected people die.

Ebola is carried by fruit bats (the vector) and infect other animals and humans - unfortunately, in some parts of West Africa, fruit bat is considered a delicacy - a cultural barrier in reducing transmission.

Ebola spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with the blood, secretions like saliva, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.

Ebola symptoms include fever, headache, diarrhoea, nausea and rashes - typical observations of the effect on many pathogen infections.

Ebola causes haemorrhagic fever - where you bleed internally or from your eyes, mouth or nose.

Treatment of Ebola includes providing plenty of fluids and electrolytes (body salts) orally or through infusion into the vein (intravenously). Patients may also need medication to support blood pressure, reduce vomiting and diarrhea, and to manage fever and pain.

To reduce the spread of Ebola, infected people should be isolated and sterilising any areas where the virus might be, including hospital beds used by Ebola sufferers.

The safe burial of the victims of Ebola.

The spread and transmission of Ebola can be further reduced by ensuring ALL medical staff wash their hands frequently and wear protective clothing.

Other precautions include minimising risk of contact with infected animals.

Restricting travel between locations with Ebola outbreaks.

(9b) Hepatitis

The hepatitis virus causes long-term infections in the liver where it lives in the cells.

Symptoms of hepatitis: jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and eyes), abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

Unfortunately, suffering from hepatitis, gives you an increased chance of developing liver cancer - a case of a communicable disease making you more susceptible to a non-communicable disease.

See also Viruses - structure, reproduction and cell destruction

Keywords, phrases and learning objectives for this part on the ebola virus and hepatitis virus

Know that ebola is a viral pathogen communicable disease, very easily spread by the fruit bat acting as a vector.

Know that the hepatitis virus causes a severe liver infection.

Know the symptoms and dangers of ebola and hepatitus communicable diseases.



INDEX of notes on communicable diseases


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