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What is Ebola virus and how to protect yourself

What is Ebola?

The Ebola virus is a dangerous and highly fatal viral disease. The virus belongs to the Filoviridae family. The family consists of the following viruses: Zaire, Bundibugyo, Sudan, Reston and Taï Forest Ebola virus. The first three species are related to the earlier major epidemics in Africa. The current epidemic is directly related to the Zaire Ebola virus.

The Ebola epidemic of 2014 began in March in the West-African region. The current epidemic is considered to be one of the largest since its discovery in 1976. Today, the Ebola virus has spread to Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal. On 8 August, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the current Ebola virus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Currently, there is no vaccine for the Ebola virus.

How Ebola virus spreads?

The main carriers of the virus are considered to be animals living in Africa. The virus is contracted when coming into contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of an infected or dead wild animal. The virus can also be contracted when coming into direct contact with the blood and other bodily fluids (saliva, urine, vomit) of a living or deceased person infected with the Ebola virus. In addition to the affected areas, general means of transportation related to travel (airplanes, busses, trains etc.) are also considered to be infectious. It is also possible to contract the virus from contaminated medical equipment. The incubation period varies from 2 to 21 days, after which first symptoms of the disease start developing – a fever, muscle pain, weakness, headaches and a sore throat. To avoid being infected, traveling to affected areas should be avoided.

Prevention and control

The Ebola virus is an enveloped virus. Disinfectants are capable of inactivating enveloped viruses and are therefore also capable of inactivating the Ebola virus. The products of Chemi-Pharm AS are tested and can inactivate many enveloped viruses such as Herpes Simplex virus (HSV), HIV, Hepatitis C (HCV), Hepatitis B (HBV), influenza virus, Hepatitis D (HDV), Vaccinia etc. The Ebola virus is highly dangerous for humans with a death rate of 90%, but can nevertheless be prevented. According to the World Health Organisation, the Ebola virus can be eliminated relatively easily by using alcohol-based products (from 70 % (w/w) of alcohol). Other substances include acetic acid, glutaraldehyde, chlorhexidine, dodecylamine, sodium dichloro-isocyanurate and sodium hypochlorite (bleach) or calcium hypochlorite (bleaching powder). Disinfectants containing these components are regularly used in hospitals and are strongly recommended for preventing being infected with the Ebola virus. The products of Chemi-Pharm AS are listed below.

Chemi-Pharm AS disinfectants that are virucidal against enveloped viruses (Ebola virus)

In addition to containing a virus inactivating component, most products also contain quaternary ammonium compounds, giving the products an effective antibacterial effect as well as high remanence.

Alcohol-based hand disinfectants:

· Chemisept

· Chemisept 80

· Chemisept H

· Healthy Skin Gel

· Chemisept Hand Des

· Aloe Skinsept

Skin antiseptics:

· Chemisept G

· Chemisept G Color

· Chemisept HF

Disinfectants of surfaces and instruments:

For the disinfection of surfaces and instruments, products have to consist of glutaraldehyde. Active chlorine concentration 1000-10000 ppm.

· Bacticid

· Chemihyd Des

· Chemides Pulver

· Chlorinex-60

· Sterisept

· Sterisept Forte

 

Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Care of Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Filo virus Haemorrhagic Fever in Health-Care Settings, with Focus on Ebola, September 2014

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