Health News of 2014-07-14

Ebola virus outbreak in Techiman is imminent

Many people show unconcerned when it comes to the discussion of disease outbreaks in Ghana; thinking that the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service owe the responsibility to curb the disease. This attitude has precipitated the cause of disease outbreaks in Africa and particularly in Ghana. The earlier we change this attitude, the better we can control diseases to the extent of not even causing outbreaks. Currently, Ghana due to her international territories is imminent for the Ebola disease outbreak and cities including Techiman where there is African market that serves the whole West Africa. Due to the influx of people from all walks of life to the Techiman market, Ebola virus disease is likely to occur in Techiman if preventative measures are not taken. It would be important that all meaningful Ghanaians join the advocacy against the Ebola virus. In addition to the MOH/GHS, the media should also in their reportage slot in awareness of the Ebola disease to their listeners. Nana nom and their subjects should also mention Ebola Disease in their discussion to protect the people they reign. Bankers and GPRTU should also do well in the awareness of the Ebola virus disease to protect their customers to be healthy to continue banking with them. They are very important in the sense that people overcrowd and spend several hours before they would be served. While waiting, people will definitely sneeze and cough. Due to the air-conditioned hall they use, the air in the banking hall and the air-conditioned buses that travel with long hours are potential sources that people can get this disease and the campaign against Ebola virus disease should be a concern for all these institutions. The etiology of Ebola virus disease states that the disease was named after the Ebola River Valley in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire, first reported outbreak of the Ebola disease in 1976. This disease is highly infectious virus kills up to 90 percent of the people who get it; causing fear among infected communities. Ebola disease spreads in the blood and breaks down the immune system and thereafter causes a fever, headache and muscle pain. The World Health Organization has declared that the Ebola virus as outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests. There is no specific treatment or vaccine is available for use in people or animals. The outbreak of the Ebola virus, which started in a rural region of Guinea in West Africa, has now spread to the nation's capital Conakry. According to the WHO, there are 122 cases with 78 deaths. Cases have been reported in Liberia and Sierra Leone, which border Guinea. The largest outbreak involved 425 people in 2000 in Uganda, and the 2003 outbreak in Congo had a mortality of 90 percent, making it one of the most dangerous viral infections described. Ebola is thought to originate in fruit bats and initial cases in humans result from contact with infected animals, including chimpanzees, gorillas and monkeys. But outbreaks like the current one occur because of human-to-human spread. Meat that comes from wild animals such as bats, antelopes, squirrels, porcupines and monkeys hunted down by people in Africa and Asia is known as bush meat. It’s one of the most traditional food items in West Africa. Researchers have commonly linked the consumption of bush meat to the transmission of various diseases including Ebola. The disease caused by the virus is dramatic and awful. It starts with flu-like symptoms - a fever, sore throat, extreme tiredness and muscle pain. Within a few days, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea develop. The virus is also attacking the internal organs, particularly the liver and kidneys. When these organs start to fail, the patient starts bleeding and eventually lead to dehydration and blood loss (anaemia). Out of 2,200 recorded cases of Ebola to date, about 1,500 infected people died. The World Health Organization has outlined a list of signs and symptoms including sudden onset of fever, muscle pain, headache and sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. It is important to know that Ebola virus causes Ebola virus disease (EVD; formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever) in humans being. EVD outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%. It outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission and the fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus. In Africa, fruit bats are believed to be the natural hosts of Ebola virus. The disease spreads from wildlife to people through contact with infected fruit bats, or through intermediate hosts, such as monkeys, apes, or pigs that have themselves become infected through contact with bat saliva or faeces. Then people may then become infected through contact with infected animals, either in the process of slaughtering or through consumption of blood, milk, or raw or undercooked meat. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals. In Africa, infection has been documented through the handling of infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest. Ebola then spreads in the community 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. Contact with environments contaminated with such fluids. 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. Health-care workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or confirmed EVD. This has occurred through close contact with patients when infection control precautions are not strictly practiced. The Ebola virus disease is takes two to twenty-one days to manifest its clinical signs and symptoms. The disease can be prevented if people don’t come into close contact with the secretions of infected patients. It is important to wearing gloves, gown, face mask and eye protection when dealing with patients and suspected people. One must ensure hand disinfection. The MOH/GHS must make sure there are clinic, hospitals and CHPS centres to manage and assess patient care. There should be a functioning system of cleaning and waste disposal. Prompt attention to people with viral haemorrhagic fever bleed and vomit. As at now, there is no specific treatment or vaccine is available for use in people or animals. BY DANIEL DJAN HEALTH TUTOR (COMMUNITY HEALTH NURSING TRAINING SCHOOL,TECHIMAN-KROBO) 0244897338