Ebolavirus and Haemorrhagic Syndrome

Gerald A. Matua, Dirk M. Van der Wal, Rozzano C. Locsin

Abstract


The Ebola virus is a highly virulent, single-stranded ribonucleic acid virus which affects both humans and apes and has fast become one of the world’s most feared pathogens. The virus induces acute fever and death, with haemorrhagic syndrome occurring in up to 90% of patients. The known species within the genus Ebolavirus are Bundibugyo, Sudan, Zaïre, Reston and Taï Forest. Although endemic in Africa, Ebola has caused worldwide anxiety due to media hype and concerns about its international spread, including through bioterrorism. The high fatality rate is attributed to unavailability of a standard treatment regimen or vaccine. The disease is frightening since it is characterised by rapid immune suppression and systemic inflammatory response, causing multi-organ and system failure, shock and often death. Currently, disease management is largely supportive, with containment efforts geared towards mitigating the spread of the virus. This review describes the classification, morphology, infective process, natural ecology, transmission, epidemic patterns, diagnosis, clinical features and immunology of Ebola, including management and epidemic containment strategies.



Keywords


Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola; Ebolavirus; Hemorrhage; Filoviridae; Pathogenicity Factors; Virulence; Disease Management.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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