First identified in Africa 1976, Ebola is a virus with a high fatality rate infecting people across Africa, and more recently Spain.
As you know African countries are experiencing significant fatalities due to the outbreak of Ebola, so for today I have put together some fast facts about the virus that can equip you with knowledge to prevent yourself from ever getting it.
5 Ebola Strains
- Ebola haemorrhagic fever is caused by one of five different Ebola viruses. Four of the strains can cause severe illness in both humans and animals. Reston virus is the fifth strain which has yet to cause illness in human beings, only animals.
- People think that Ebola is extremely contagious; this is not the case. Ebola is however, extremely infectious. An infinitesimally small amount can cause illness. Laboratory experiments on non-human primates propose that merely a single virus may be enough to activate fatal contamination.
- Ebola is not airborne and therefore is moderately contagious, because the virus is not transmitted through the air. The most contagious diseases, such as measles or influenza, virus particles are airborne. Humans can be infected if they come in contact with body fluids from an infected person or contaminated objects from infected people. People can also be exposed to virus by butchering infected animals, just as an example.
- While the exact reservoir of Ebola viruses is still unknown, researchers believe the most likely natural hosts are fruit bats.
- Ebola symptoms include things like weakness, fever, aches, diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach pain. Other symptoms can include rash, red eyes, chest pain, throat soreness, difficulty breathing or swallowing and bleeding (including internal). Normally, symptoms appear 8-10 days after exposure to the virus, but the incubation period can stretch from 2 to 21 days.
- Ebola outbreaks have been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Gabon, South Sudan, Ivory Coast, Uganda, Republic of the Congo (ROC), Guinea, Liberia and more recently Spain.
- Up to now there is no specific treatment or vaccine,” and the fatality rate can be up to 90%. Patients are given supportive care, which includes providing fluids and electrolytes and food.
For any queries, feel free to email Zoe Mandalios – zoe [at] caglobalint [dot] com