The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health said that a citizen of that country who died Wednesday in Jeddah is suspected of having contracted Ebola while on a recent business trip to Sierra Leone.
Saudi laboratories certified by the World Health Organization are testing blood samples from the deceased man for Ebola, as well as for other illnesses which cause the symptoms of viral hemorrhagic fever.
Manifestation of Ebola begins with a sudden onset of an influenza-like stage characterized by general malaise, fever with chills and chest pain. Nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting are also common symptoms. Regarding the central nervous system, victims experience severe headaches, agitation, confusion, fatigue, depression, seizures and sometimes coma.
Those who contract Ebola typically die of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) due to fluid redistribution, hypotension, weakened intravascular coagulation and focal tissue necrosis. The hemorrhaging that comes with the disease is typically not the cause of death.
The health ministry is likewise tracking the businessman’s route of travel and assessing who he may have come into contact with. Saudi Arabia has suspended travel visas to West Africa to help prevent any further spread of the disease.
Human-to-human transmission of Ebola occurs via direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from an infected person, or by contact with contaminated medical equipment such as needles. No cases of aerosol transmission have been reported, and a potential for widespread Ebola epidemics is considered to be low, due to the high fatality rate of the illness, along with the rapidity of the demise of patients.
The Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria is the largest recorded in history, and the disease has a mortality rate of up to 90 percent. So far, the outbreak has taken over 900 lives, and a vaccination is years away.
Image via YouTube