Ebola Virus Disease?Anesthesiologists need to ‘better prepare and educate’ themselves

As the Ebola virus disease pandemic unfolded in 2014, it may have seemed like a sudden and unprecedented event. But the disease has a long history, the epidemic is ongoing, and new outbreaks are certain to occur in the future, reports.  Especially with recent news of persisting and recurrent Ebola outbreaks in some West African countries, anaesthesia providers and other healthcare professionals need to know about the ‘past and present’ of Ebola virus disease, according to a review by Dr. Michael J. Murray of Grand Canyon Anesthesia Consultants, Scottsdale, Ariz. He writes, ‘We as anesthesiologists should take the necessary steps now to better prepare and educate ourselves so that we can protect our families from the sequelae of such events, and provide effective treatment for those to whom we will provide care during this and subsequent epidemics.’

The first cases of viral haemorrhagic disease caused by Marburg virus were recognized nearly 50 years ago, when European laboratory workers were infected by monkeys imported from Uganda.
Two epidemics caused by a virus that proved to be Ebola occurred in Sudan and Zaire during 1976. The disease spread readily, especially with close contact. Stringent infection control and isolation measures were necessary to bring the outbreaks under control. Over the years, more than 20 outbreaks have occurred in Africa, with mortality rates sometimes reaching 100 percent.
After extensive research, fruit bats were identified as the natural reservoir of Ebola virus. The current epidemic likely began with a child in Guinea who had contact with a bat. The disease rapidly spread to other West African countries