Early hospitalizations critical for Ebola patients

Researchers recently found that for every day that an Ebola victim’s hospitalization was delayed within Congo, the person had an 11 percent higher chance of death.

This study unites patient outcomes with epidemiological information to offer analysis and insight into the outbreaks and death patterns of the virus. It shows both the international and national interventions that were involved with each outbreak.

Since the virus was first identified in 1976, there have been more Ebola outbreaks within Congo than all the other West African countries. The data was pulled from approximately 1,000 Ebola cases that have occurred within Congo in the last 38 years.

The data demonstrates that outbreaks which rapidly progress, meaning an infected person is estimated to transmit the illness to a minimum of three other people, are more quickly controlled than slower epidemics.

With slow outbreaks, the responses from national and international parties were delayed, causing the outbreaks to last for longer periods of time. In fact, almost all of the outbreaks involved in the study were already beginning to decline before there was any international or national response, including erecting isolation units.

The researchers suggest educating people about the disease in all areas throughout the regions to stop the virus from spreading. Vaccinations are important, as are interventions when vaccines are not plentiful in supply. In addition, national and international responses must occur faster.

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