Ebola virus began as a handful of cases in Guinea in March but quickly spread to neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia. Nearly 1,000 people have died and 1,800 have become infected in West Africa.
Medicines Sans Frontieres (MSF) describes Ebola as “one of the world’s most deadly diseases. It is a highly infectious virus that can kill up to 90% of the people who catch it, causing terror among infected communities. The Ebola virus causes viral hemorrhagic fever, which refers to a group of viruses that affect multiple organ systems in the body and are often accompanied by bleeding.
The virus is named after the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where one of the first outbreaks occurred in 1976. The same year there was another outbreak in Sudan.
Symptoms of Ebola virus
1-Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
2-Fatality rate can reach 90% – but the current outbreak is about 55%
3-Incubation period is two to 21 days
4-There is no vaccine or cure
5-Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhea and vomiting can help recovery
6-Fruit bats are considered to be virus’ natural host