Health News of 2014-08-13

Considering Animal To Human Transmission In Ebola Virus Disease

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), formally known as Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever (EHF) discovered by Dr. Peter Priot is a notoriously deadly virus that causes fearsome symptoms, the most prominent being high fever and massive spread through contact with infected body fluids by a filovirus (Ebola Virus), whose normal host species is unknown. Filoviruses are transmitted through direct skin or mucus membrane contact with virus–infected body fluids such as blood, saliva, vomitus, faeces, and possibly sweat as explained by the ‘’third edition of the Principles of Medicine in Africa’’ . Although non-human primates such as Monkeys, Fruit Bats, Chimpanzees and Gorillas just to mention few in Africa has been a source of infection to human. They are not thought to be the ‘’reservoir’’ but rather accidental host like human beings. Ebola because of its deadly nature is making headlines all over the country. But it is the human to human transmission that dominates the discussion on spread neglecting animals to human. Government must consider some animals such as Monkeys and Fruit Bats that are common and does not need to go through any of the 42 legitimate borders of the country of which if infected transmit the deadly Ebola. Basing my article specifically on infected animals such as Fruit Bats and Monkeys, Do you know Monkeys in one of the popular Monkey sanctuaries in Ghana ‘’Boabeng Fiema’’ which is located in the Brong-Ahafo Region moves from the forest to the kitchen of the residents to steal foods? This indirectly means some residents of these areas are in direct contact with the Monkeys of which if any has the virus can spread it to the people. It is really pathetic to know 37 Military hospital located in the capital town of Ghana (Accra) is the home to many Fruit Bats. The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) chief veterinary officer Juan Lubroth confirm that Fruit bats usually eaten dried or in a spicy soup can carry EVD even when they have no clinical symptoms and must be avoided. Studies in Bangladesh highlighted the possibility of Ebola spread through contamination with the Bat excreta. One might say the virus is killed in Fruit Bats when the meat is cooked at high temperature or heavily smoked but anyone who handles, skin or butchers an infected animal is at risk of contracting the virus warned Mr. Lubroth. Eric Leroy at the International Centre for Medical Research in Franceville, Gabon and colleagues along with local villagers noticed an increasing number of animal carcasses in the forest just before one Ebola outbreak. When the researchers tested the corpses most were found to be positive of the Ebola Virus. Because of the significant possibility of animal to human transmission, Veterinary Officers must be actually involved in any committee that will be mandated to deal with EVD in Ghana. Government must treat this issue comprehensively. Ministry of health together with Ministry of tourism must create the awareness in the country especially in our rural areas about the handling of such animals and particularly caution haunters not to bring home ill or already dead animals from the forest. To crown it all, one thing that makes Ebola very deadly is that it is able to prevaricate much of the human immune system among other problems; white blood cells from the immune system are often seen to die off in patients. And if the body can’t fight fully back, the virus just keep taking over. Mistakes of others are to be learnt from not to be repeated and ‘’Had We Know’’ must never be the philosophy of this country therefore the forest and animal management must be critically taken into account. Until these essential facts are considered follow the aforementioned warnings and stay safe. I am hopeful that the suggestions raised in this article would be given the attention they deserve to remedy this unfortunate situation. Thank You.Source: Boakye, Boateng Joseph
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