Ebola – A Dreadful Infectious Disease

Ebola Virus

Ebola is a dreadful infectious disease found in humans and primates. It had been first observed in 1976 at Nzara in Sudan and at Yambuku within the democratic republic of congo near the Ebola River in Africa from where the disease takes its name.

2014-16 is the largest outbreak of the virus since the virus is discovered.

 There are five species of Ebola virus which includes Zaire ebolavirus, Sudan ebolavirus, Tai Forest ebolavirus, Bundibugyo ebolavirus, Reston ebolavirus of which the Zaire Ebola virus is one of the most dangerous of the five species of the virus of the Ebolavirus genus which are the agent for the disease outbreak of Ebolavirus disease (EVD). The virus causes a severe hemorrhagic fever in humans which also gives its name Ebola hemorrhagic fever.


Endothelial cells, mononuclear phagocytes, and hepatocytes are the most targets of infection. After infection, a secreted glycoprotein (sGP) known as the Ebola virus glycoprotein(GP) is synthesized.

Ebola replication overwhelms protein synthesis of infected cells and hosts immune defenses.

The GP forms a trimeric complex, which binds the virus to the endothelial cells lining the inside surface of blood vessels.

The sGP forms a dimeric protein that interferes with the signaling of neutrophils, a kind of white blood corpuscle, which allows the virus to invade the immune system by inhibiting early steps of neutrophil activation. These white blood corpuscle also functions to move the virus throughout the whole body to places like the lymph nodes, liver, lungs, and spleen.


The natural reservoir host of the Ebola virus is said to be the Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family. The other mode of transmission includes close contact with the infected patient or direct contact of body fluids like sweat, saliva, human excreta, or with medical equipment like syringes and improperly sterilized needles used for the treatment of the patient. The persons likely to eat the flesh of the infected primates or the bat are on a high chance of getting infected.

A pregnant woman who gets infected with Ebola has a high chance of passing the infection to the newborn as the breastmilk carries the virus and other pregnancy-related fluids and tissues. Persons involved in burial ceremonies of infected patients are also at risk of being infected.


The time for virus to give its first symptom is 2 to 21 days.


  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle soreness
  • Fever
  • Sore throat

DAY 10:

  • Sudden high fever
  • Vomiting blood
  • Partially aggressive behavior

DAY 11-13:

  • Bruising
  • Brain damage
  • Blood clots from the nose, mouth, anus.
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea


  • Loss of consciousness,
  • Massive internal bleeding and external bleeding
  • Rashes
  • Organ damage
  • Hemorrhage
  • Low white blood cell count
  • Death


Following methods are used for detection of the Ebola virus:

  •  Antigen captured enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • Antigen capture detection tests
  • Serum neutralization test
  • Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR ) assay
  • Electron microscopy
  • Virus isolation by cell culture


There was no cure of Ebola virus until the scientist discovered the Ervebo vaccine which is known to be effective for the species of Zaire ebolavirus. In December 2020, the antibody was affirmed by the US Food and Drug Administration and prequalified by WHO for use in people 18 years old and more established (except for pregnant and breastfeeding ladies) for security against Ebola infection sickness brought about by Zaïre Ebola virus. The vaccine is given in 2 doses. Zdeno is preferred as the first dose usage and the second dose is given after 8 weeks of first.

Another treatment is produced using antibodies in the blood of the individuals who have survived ebola. There is no effective proof that it works.


  • Early observation and isolation of the infected individuals.
  • Quarantine and observation of the infected ones for 21 days until the incubation period are over.
  • Screening of the travelers traveling across different countries.
  • Alertness among the people.
  • Avoid eating the flesh of bats and infected animals.
  • Safe disposal of the body with proper care.
  • Avoid close contact with the person detected with the virus.
  • Avoid areas of known outbreaks.
  • Hospitals must follow extra preventive care such as wearing gloves, proper sterilization, and disposal of the medical equipment.

The Ebola virus can also survive for several days outside the body in the fluids and can be contagious but as soon as the fluid dries the virus will become inactive and will no longer be hazardous.