Ebola is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with a strain of Ebola virus. The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. The risk of an Ebola outbreak affecting multiple people in the U.S. is very low. Here are some facts about Ebola.
- Ebola is a virus, like the flu or the common cold, the official name is Ebola Virus Disease.
- Ebola is not a new virus and is first identified in the 1970s. There were multiple outbreaks of Ebola since 1970.
- Ebola early symptoms are flu-like, including fever, weakness and muscle pain and progresses to vomiting, diarrhoea, organ failure, and spontaneous internal and external bleeding.
- Ebola is not a disease with a 100% death rate. In the current outbreak almost half the infected people have died. Previous outbreaks have seen death tolls as high as 90 percent and as low as 25 percent.
- Ebola isn’t that contagious and it doesn’t travel through the air, water, food or mosquitoes. You will be infected from direct contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of infected people.
- One major reason it has been spreading through West Africa is that in some communities, it is common for mourners to touch the bodies of deceased loved ones before burial, and people who have succumbed to Ebola are still contagious after death.
- Ebola has a much longer generation time(how long it takes for one person to infect another) in upwards of 2 weeks.
- If you walk around with the Ebola, you’re likely to infect 1.5 to 2 people. If you have measles, it’s seven or more. So Ebola is not as quickly spreading as measles.
- Ebola is dreadful at this point mainly because there’s very little doctors can do for Ebola victims, beyond keeping them hydrated.
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