by Ayobami Olopade
The younger a person is, the more likely he or she is to survive the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), a new study has revealed.
The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Sunday revealed that EVD is more likely to claim the lives of those aged 45 or older, as the fatality rate for patients under 21 was 57 per cent, while for those aged 45 and above, the mortality rate soared to 94 per cent.
According to the report, the incubation period of the patients they examined was six to 12 days – similar to that seen during the outbreak and the higher the temperature recorded on admission to hospital, the more likely patients were to die from Ebola, adding that 80 per cent of the patients suffered headache, 66 per cent noted weakness, 60 per cent suffered dizziness, 51 per cent diarrhoea, 40 per cent abdominal pain and 34 per cent suffered vomiting but that only one patient was found to have suffered internal bleeding – which is one of the most deadly symptoms.
As part of its efforts to improve the safety and the protection of healthcare workers and patients from transmission of Ebola virus disease, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has conducted a formal review of personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines for healthcare workers and is updating its guidelines in context of the current outbreak.
In a statement on Saturday, the W.H.O Director for Service Delivery and Safety, Edward Kelley, stated: “These guidelines hold an important role in clarifying effective personal protective equipment options that protect the safety of healthcare workers and patients from Ebola virus disease transmission. Paramount to the guidelines’ effectiveness is the inclusion of mandatory training on the putting on, taking off and decontaminating of PPE, followed by mentoring for all users before engaging in any clinical care.”
Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO’s Assistant Director-General of Health Systems and Innovation, stressed the importance of applying other contro measures, in addition to PPE, in order to prevent transmission to health workers. “Although PPE is the most visible control used to prevent transmission, it is effective only if applied together with other controls, including facilities for barrier nursing and work organisation, water and sanitation, hand hygiene, and waste management.”