Treatments for Ebola
The virus that causes Ebola cannot be killed with treatments; instead, healthcare providers focus on providing relief of the symptoms. This can be achieved by giving oxygen, IV fluids, antibiotics, and other medications. Even when these treatments are administered, death still occurs in 50 to 90 percent of cases.
There are currently no proven treatments that can kill the Ebola virus. Thus, treatment focuses on providing relief of symptoms as the body fights the virus. This is called supportive care.
Supportive care measures typically include:
- Oxygen and devices that help with breathing
- Antibiotics to prevent secondary infections from bacteria
- Medications to control fever, help the blood clot, and maintain blood pressure
- Intravenous (IV) fluids to maintain fluids and electrolytes (sodium, potassium, and chloride)
- Good nursing care.
Even with these Ebola treatments, death still occurs in 50 to 90 percent of cases. Research scientists do not understand why some people are able to recover from the hemorrhagic fever and others are not; however, it is known that people with this condition usually have not developed a significant immune response to the Ebola virus at the time of death.