St Kizito Clinic raises prevention measures against Ebola and works on community education.
Ebola (EDV) is a severe acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.
The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms, is 2 to 21 days.
Ebola spreads in the communities through human-to-human transmission, with infection resulting from direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and indirect contact with environments contaminated with such fluids. People are infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus. Burial ceremonies in which mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased person can also play a role in the transmission of Ebola. Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness.
For this reason hand washing is THE most important prevention measure. It is also utmost important that health-care workers apply standard precautions consistently with all patients – regardless of their diagnosis – in all work practices at all times.These include basic hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, the use of personal protective equipment (according to the risk of splashes or other contact with infected materials), safe injection practices and safe burial practices.