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March 2014 marked the starting point of the largest outbreak of Ebola virus disease in history. Although the disease seems to be on a decrease, we are not there yet and new outbreaks will surely emerge. New efforts to combat the outbreak are necessary. This is why we developed this online course about Ebola, targeted at health professionals across the world.
In this course you will cover the fundamental knowledge any health professional should have with expected or confirmed cases or a general interest in the Ebola disease. You will discuss the epidemiology of the disease, its pathophysiology and transmission, the clinical presentation including differential diagnosis and confirmation of disease. You will also discuss the general therapeutic approach to the care of Ebola suspected or confirmed patients and discuss the novel vaccine and drug developments.
As the Ebola crisis continues to rage through the affected areas, we need health professionals like yourself to be informed and involved.
This course is developed in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Amsterdam, the University Medical Center Utrecht (Julius Center/Julius Global Health), Elevate Health, Médecins Sans Frontières and the Lion Heart Foundation.
About the course
Here you will find general information about the course. The learning objectives, the structure, the format and the requirements of completion will be presented to you. The course credits and a short survey are part of this first learning unit as well.
This learning unit describes the epidemiology of Ebola virus disease, past outbreaks and the current West African Ebola outbreak.
Transmission and natural reservoirs
This learning unit describes the probable transmission routes and reservoir(s) of Ebola viruses, which can cause a wide array of symptoms and are often fatal.
This unit will focus on what happens when the virus enters and spreads throughout the body.
Clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, diagnosis
In this learning unit, the focus lies on the clinical symptoms you may encounter when examining patients suspected of ebola virus disease (EVD). The modes of infection of Ebola, incubation time, symptoms, lab findings, differential diagnosis, clinical characteristics of the current epidemic, and complications and outcomes will be discussed.
The primary objective of this learning unit is to provide you with sufficient knowledge on how to fight the Ebola epidemic from a clinical perspective: how is Ebola virus disease (EVD) treated and how can transmission of the virus be prevented? In addition, this unit gives an overview of the experimental therapeutic options and vaccines.
Ebola in the field: The Médecins Sans Frontières experience
In this learning unit you will explore the reality in the field of the care for Ebola patients through the experiences of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Since the start of the Ebola outbreak in West-Africa, MSF has provided care to Ebola patients in Ebola Management Centers (EMCs) across the affected countries Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the interventions in DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Mali, Senegal and Nigeria.
Ebola in the field: confronted with Ebola in an existing hospital of the Lion Heart Foundation in Sierra Leone
In this learning unit an example will be given of what consequences the Ebola outbreak has had in the practice. We present you the tough reality in a NGO hospital in Sierra Leone, hear from its staff and experience their work. While reading you can watch corresponding videos.
Final assignment and survey
Martin Grobusch and Joyce L. Browne