As the Ebola virus continues to spread in West Africa with recent information from the World Health Organization that Kenya is at real risk for disease spread, the search continues for possible treatment options for infected patients.
Ebola is a viral hemorrhagic disease marked by nausea, vomiting , and diarrhea and in the end stages of disease is marked by cardiac, pulmonary, liver, and kidney failure. Most patients develop hemorrhages from the skin, mouth, nose, eyes, and rectum.
There currently is no proven cure or antidote for the disease The World Health Organization this week convened an international panel of ethicists to discuss the ramificantions of using experimental and untried therapies on patients.
Ebola is an enveloped, negative sense RNA virus with a 19,000 base pair that codes for seven structural protein and one non-structural protein. It shares some common pathological mechanisms that are similar to other viruses, particularly in its ability to disable the immune system of the host cell.
Likeall viruses, the virus particles are not infectious in and of themselves. They must enter the host cell and commandeer the nuclear machinery to make additional virus particles.
Currently, patients are infected in Liberia, Sierre Leone, Guinea, and Nigeria.
One substance that has scientific rationale for its use is nano silver.
Silver has been used as an antimicrobe for centuries and is widely used in current medical products to combat nosocomial infections. Two common uses in the intensive care unit is silver coated endotracheal tubes and central venous catheters.
Commercial preparations of silver solution are widely available on the internet. The two major forms available are nano silver and colloidal silver solutions.