Ebola Virus Facts

Ebola Virus Facts
The Ebola virus is a very dangerous and often times deadly virus, also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever. It was first identified in 1976 as a possible variation of the Marburg virus. The first outbreak was near the Ebola River, which is how the virus got its name. The Ebola virus is transferred from wild animals to humans and then further passed on from human-to-human contact. Outbreaks have occurred in Africa in both remote villages and now in cities as well. Although there is not a specific cure, early treatment and therapy can help reduce the number of deaths when an outbreak does occur.
Interesting Ebola Virus Facts:
The first two outbreaks of the Ebola virus occurred in 1976, in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nzara, Sudan.
An outbreak of the Ebola virus that occurred in 2014 in West Africa, was the largest to date, with more deaths and cases in this outbreak than in all other outbreaks combined.
The 2014 outbreak spread from Guinea to Sierra Leone and Liberia. One traveller carried the virus to Nigeria, three to the United States, one to Senegal, and two to Mali.
Two people who went to the United States with Ebola virus were treated and released free of the virus. One died.
It is believed that the Pteropodidae family fruit bats naturally carry the virus.
Carriers of the virus include fruit bats, chimpanzees, gorillas, porcupines, and monkeys. Contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or secretions of carriers can cause the virus to transmit to humans.
It is not believed that dogs and cats can carry the virus.
Health care workers have to be extremely careful when caring for patients infected with the Ebola virus as it can be transmitted by contact with fluids on bedding and clothing. Bleach can kill the virus on bedding and clothing.
After becoming infected with the Ebola virus it takes 2 to 21 days to develop symptoms. Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, pain in the muscles, headaches, and sore throat.
As Ebola becomes worse after the first symptoms a person will experience diarrhea, vomiting, kidney and liver problems, and sometimes external or internal bleeding.
Because the Ebola virus can produce symptoms similar to other diseases such as meningitis, typhoid fever, and malaria, blood tests must be performed to distinguish between Ebola virus and these diseases.
Despite some treatments to reduce symptoms or possibly to help people recover, no vaccines are currently approved. There are two being investigated for possible use.
The outbreak in 2014 resulted in 24,282 infections. 9,976 people died.
Despite the fact that the Ebola Virus has reached the United States it is not considered to be a risk to the general public. It was contained and cases did not result in an outbreak.
Airports often screen people coming from countries known to have outbreaks. Symptoms are not always obvious however as they may not develop until 21 days following infection.
The famous author Tom Clancy wrote a book in 1996 about the Ebola virus being used as a terrorist weapon. His book was titled Executive Orders.

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