As is the case with yellow fever, there is currently no available drug to cure Ebola virus disease.
- Research and experiments are being carried out to develop an effective drug for the disease. There are also no available licensed vaccines yet. However, there are two potential vaccines that are in the process of human safety testing.
- Currently, treatment of Ebola virus disease involves supportive care, managing the symptoms of the disease, and complications as they appear.
- The chances of a person who has Ebola virus disease recovering depends on the quality of supportive health care the person gets. It also depends on the way the individual’s immune system responds to the disease.
Some of the components of care provided for an Ebola patient are:
- Giving intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Maintaining normal blood pressure.
- Giving oxygen.
- Treating other infections if they occur.
- Blood transfusion.
When these are started on time and carried out immediately they are needed, then the chances of recovery and surviving the disease are higher.
- Anyone who recovers and survives Ebola virus disease develops antibodies that protect him/her from becoming infected with the virus for a minimum of 10 years, or perhaps longer. It is not yet known whether the immunity is for life. It is also not certain whether or not Ebola survivors can be infected by a different species of the Ebola virus than the one that had previously infected them.
- Some of the Ebola survivors have been seen to develop mental health problems after surviving the disease. So, psychosocial support should be provided for them.
- There are more than 10,000 Ebola survivors in the world today. Quality health care plays a role in increasing the chances of survival of an Ebola-infected person.