Ebola, also known as Ebola virus disease (EVD), is a severe and often fatal illness that is caused by a virus from the Filoviridae family. It was first identified in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and has since caused outbreaks in several African countries. While the Ebola virus is best known for causing fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, it can also affect the eyes and cause a variety of eye-related symptoms.
One of the most common eye-related symptoms of Ebola is conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. This is an inflammation of the thin, clear layer that covers the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelid. Symptoms of conjunctivitis include redness, itching, and discharge. While conjunctivitis is not typically a serious condition, it can be uncomfortable and can cause vision problems if left untreated.
Another eye-related symptom of Ebola is uveitis, which is an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye. Symptoms of uveitis include redness, pain, and sensitivity to light. Uveitis can lead to vision problems if left untreated, as it can cause scarring and damage to the eye.
Ebola can also cause orbital cellulitis, which is an infection of the tissues surrounding the eye. Symptoms of orbital cellulitis include redness, swelling, and pain around the eye. This condition can be serious and may require hospitalization and intravenous (IV) antibiotics.
Finally, Ebola can cause inflammation of the optic nerve, which is the nerve that carries visual information from the eye to the brain. Symptoms of optic nerve inflammation include vision loss, eye pain, and sensitivity to light. This condition can be serious and may lead to permanent vision loss if left untreated.
Overall, while Ebola is best known for causing fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, it can also affect the eyes and cause a variety of eye-related symptoms, including conjunctivitis, uveitis, orbital cellulitis, and optic nerve inflammation. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any eye-related symptoms in the context of an Ebola outbreak.