Introduction to Ebola : Nursing Course


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Ebola was first identified in:

1976

Rationale: Ebola is a viral illness which was first identified in Africa in 1976. There are five types of Ebola. Four types cause disease in humans. It is most common in West African countries. Ebola is believed to have originated from bats. The current strain has a mortality rate of 70%.


A nurse might consider that a patient may have Ebola if the following symptoms are observed:

Fever, gastrointestinal illness, hemorrhage, and muscle aches

Rationale: Ebola is characterized by a rapid onset of fever, weakness, and muscle pain. Other symptoms include severe, watery diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. Hemorrhage may occur internally or externally. Unexplained bruising and petechiae may develop. A rash may develop after several days. Some people develop chest pain and a wide array of other symptoms. Coma or seizures may result. Death often occurs within six to sixteen days of the appearance of symptoms.


Laboratory findings that are consistent with Ebola include:

Reduced WBCs, low platelets, and elevated LFTs

Rationale:

In evaluating a patient for possible Ebola, a nurse must consider:

Symptoms, history of exposure to an infected individual, recent travel to a West African nation

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If a patient presents with signs and a history which are consistent with Ebola, a nurse must first:

Activate the facility’s Ebola preparedness plan

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Diagnosing Ebola is difficult because:

Symptoms initially resemble other illnesses and testing is very limited

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Aspects for initial treatment of a patient who has Ebola most likely include:

Fluid and electrolyte replacement, emotional support, control of bleeding fever, pain, and loose stools

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A true statement regarding the provision of care for a patient who has Ebola is:

Providing care for a patient with Ebola involves diverse agencies

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The current keys to treating Ebola are:

Early identification, infection control, and supportive treatment

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Tools and strategies which may enhance the emotional support of a family whose loved one has Ebola include:

Tele-health equipment and having a family advocate

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