Monday, April 15, 2024

How is Ebola transmitted?

Ebola virus is primarily transmitted from person to person through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected individuals or through exposure to contaminated objects or surfaces. The virus can be transmitted through the following routes:

Direct contact with bodily fluids: Ebola virus can be transmitted through direct contact with the blood, saliva, vomit, urine, feces, sweat, semen, breast milk, or other bodily fluids of infected individuals. Contact with broken skin or mucous membranes (such as the eyes, nose, or mouth) can facilitate virus entry into the body.


Contaminated objects or surfaces: Ebola virus can survive on surfaces and objects for a limited period, particularly when in liquid form. Contact with contaminated objects or surfaces, such as medical equipment, bedding, clothing, or needles, can result in transmission of the virus if the contaminated material comes into contact with broken skin or mucous membranes.


Handling or consumption of infected animals: Ebola virus is zoonotic, meaning it can be transmitted from animals to humans. The virus is believed to originate from fruit bats, which are natural hosts of Ebola virus, but can also be transmitted to humans through handling or consumption of infected bushmeat (meat from wild animals such as primates or bats). Contact with the bodily fluids or tissues of infected animals, particularly during hunting, slaughtering, or preparation of meat, can result in transmission of the virus to humans.


Sexual transmission: Ebola virus can be transmitted through sexual contact with an infected partner, even if the infected person does not have symptoms. The virus can persist in semen for several weeks to months after recovery from acute illness, posing a risk of sexual transmission to sexual partners.

Ebola virus is not transmitted through casual contact, such as through the air (like influenza or tuberculosis) or by touching objects handled by an infected person (unless those objects are contaminated with bodily fluids). However, close contact with infected individuals or their bodily fluids poses a risk of transmission, especially in healthcare settings or during caregiving activities.

Preventive measures to reduce the risk of Ebola virus transmission include strict adherence to infection control practices, such as wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), practicing good hand hygiene, implementing safe burial practices, and promoting community awareness and education about Ebola transmission and prevention. Additionally, vaccination with the Ebola vaccine may provide protection against infection in outbreak settings.


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