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Ebola facts - TREATMENT AND BEST CARE

Published:Friday | October 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Currently, there is no licensed vaccine for the Ebola virus. Several vaccines are being tested and a limited amount is in the trial phase, but none are available for clinical use at the moment.

Although there is no specific treatment to cure the disease, if detected early, with appropriate medical care, a patient can recover. Recovery depends on good supportive care and the patient's immune response.

So far in this recent outbreak, the fatality rate is approximately 50 per cent, compared to 90 per cent in previous outbreaks.

Severely ill Ebola patients require intensive, supportive care. They are frequently dehydrated and need intravenous fluids or oral rehydration with solutions that contain electrolytes. Other key treatments include maintaining oxygen and blood pressure and treating other infections that may develop.

People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years. It isn't known if people who recover are immune for life or if they can become infected with a different strain of Ebola. Some people who have recovered have developed long-term complications, such as joint and vision problems.