Disease Info — 01 September 2012
The transmission of Ebola virus between natural reservoir species and humans is quite rare. The outbreaks can usually be traced to a single index case where humans may contract the disease while handling the dead carcasses of marsupials and some other animals. The usual mechanism of transmission that has been detected by researchers considers bats to be the primary cause of ebola virus transmission to first terrestrial animals which may further be carried to humans. Ebola virus is usually transmitted either directly or indirectly depending on the agent and nature of transmission. Direct transmission takes place between humans who come in contact with those who have been originally affected. The ‘hot virus’ as it also named may also get transmitted through fluids in the body such as the blood or other forms of secretions. This happens mostly in hospitals and mortuaries but may also spread within the family itself even if a single member is infected. Hospitals belonging to rural areas which are unhygienic in nature and lack medical tools and implements and adequate sanitation facilities are the ones which make patients highly susceptible to the disease.
Conjunctiva and oral exposure are considered to cause ebola virus disease in primates other than humans. Besides these, ebola viruses are highly infectious in nature and were the sole reason behind the contraction of the disease by a scientist while conducting an experiment in the laboratory. Due to the potential characteristic of the virus spreading through the air, ebola virus has also been classified as a highly potential agent of bioterrorism.