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Easy to Understand Information about Ebola

What is Ebola hemorrhagic fever?

Ebola hemorrhagic fever, (also called Ebola HF or Ebola) is a severe, often-fatal disease in humans. It is also fatal in monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees. It was first recognized in 1976. Ebola is named after a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa, where it was first recognized.

Ebola HF usually appears in sporadic outbreaks, usually spread within a health-care setting.

Four types of Ebola virus have been identified.

What causes Ebola?

Ebola is caused by infection with the Ebola virus.

Symptoms of Ebola

The incubation period for Ebola is between 2 to 21 days. The beginning symptoms of ebola are: by fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. A rash, red eyes, hiccups and internal and external bleeding may also occur.

How is Ebola virus spread?

Researchers do not know exactly how Ebola is spread. However, they have strong reason to believe that the first patient becomes infected through contact with an infected animal.

The Ebola virus is then spread from human to human by:

  • direct contact with the blood and/or secretions of an infected person.
  • contact with objects, such as needles, that have been contaminated with infected secretions.
  • scientsts believe that Ebola virus can live in semen for 6 months after a person is cured.

How is Ebola treated?

There is no standard treatment for Ebola. Patients receive supportive therapy. Types of supportive therapy are: balancing the patient’s fluids and electrolytes, maintaining their oxygen status and blood pressure, and treating them for any complicating infections.

How is Ebola hemorrhagic fever clinically diagnosed?

Your doctor can perform tests to determine if you have Ebola.

Where is Ebola virus found in nature?

The exact origin, locations, and natural habitat of Ebola virus remain has not been discovered. However, researchers believe that the virus is animal-borne and is normally maintained in an animal host that is native to the African continent.

Where do cases of Ebola hemorrhagic fever occur?

Confirmed cases of Ebola HF have been reported in Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the United States.

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