Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ebolavirus, 4

The original text message I received went on to ask if ebolaviruses attack the brain or the immune system. The short answer is: the viruses seemsable to attack everything. The symptoms of Ebola HF typically include: fever, headache, weakness, joint and muscle aches, stomach pain, lack of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some patients may have a rash, sore throat, cough and/or hiccups, red eyes, difficulty swallowing and/or breathing, chest pain, and bleeding (hemorrhages) inside and outside of the body. The symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to the ebolavirus , although 8-10 days is most common. Some who become sick with Ebola HF are able to recover, while others do not. The reasons behind this are not yet fully understood. Patients who die usually have not developed a significant immune response to the virus at the time of death. Because early symptoms are nonspecific to ebolaviruses, cases of Ebola HF may be initially misdiagnosed. If you have any reason to believe there may have been an exposure to an ebolavirus and you develop any of the symptoms, contact your doctor AND the County Health Department immediately.

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