Ebola Virus Facts

Ebola Virus Facts
The Ebola virus is one of five viruses belonging to the genus Ebolavirus that causes fatal hemorrhagic fever in both mammals and in humans with a mortality rate as high as 90%. Ebola virus is transmitted from animals to people and then spread by human-to-human contact. The first outbreaks occurred in Africa in the 1970s in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The name Ebola originated from the name of the Ebola River, where the second outbreak of the disease occurred. It is believed that the virus is transmitted to humans from infected animals such as monkeys, fruit bats, and many other mammals. Although there is no proven treatment or cure for the Ebola virus, vaccines are being developed.
Interesting Ebola Virus Facts:
The Ebola virus was once known as Ebola hemmorhagic fever but it referred to as Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) today.
The average rate of mortality for humans who contract the Ebola virus is 50% but it can vary from 25% to 90% in outbreaks.
The first outbreaks of the Ebola virus occurred near rainforests in remote villages. The virus has begun to appear in less remote places in Africa in recent outbreaks.
Once diagnosed with the Ebola virus medical care includes rehydration, and treatment of symptoms, which can help improve survival rates.
Currently there are two vaccines for the Ebola virus being tested for safety in humans.
If untreated, a person infected with the Ebola virus will most likely not survive.
The Pteropodidae family fruit bats are believed to be the natural host of the Ebola virus. The bats transmit the virus to other animals or humans through secretions or blood.
Common carriers of the Ebola virus include porcupines of the rainforest, forest antelope, monkeys, gorillas, chimpanzees, and the fruit bat.
The Ebola virus is transmitted from human to human through blood, bodily fluids and secretions, and by coming into contact with contaminated surfaces.
It is common for the healthcare workers treating people with Ebola virus to become infected, especially when proper procedures are not in place.
The direct contact with a deceased person who died from Ebola virus infection can also result in infection.
Symptoms of infection include fever, fatigue, a sore throat, headaches, muscle pain, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, impaired liver and kidney function, internal and external bleeding, and low white blood cell count.
It is possible to reduce the risk of becoming infected by animal to human contact. Wearing gloves when handling animals in the regions affected by Ebola and cooking all meat thoroughly can help to decrease risk.
Those who come into contact with people infected with the Ebola virus can reduce the risk of infection by wearing protective clothing and gloves, and washing their hands frequently.
When an outbreak occurs it is important to identify all those who came into contact with infected people. Separating the sick from the healthy can reduce transmission. If someone has come into contact with the Ebola virus their health must be monitored for 21 days to determine whether they were infected or not.

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