By now you’ve probably heard something about Ebola on the news or in class. So are you worried?
What is Ebola?
Ebola is a virus that can cause a deadly kind of fever that causes bleeding inside and outside of the body. The virus has an incubation period of about eight to 21 days.
According to the CDC, early symptoms are a fever greater than 101.5, sore throat, severe headaches, muscle pains, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pains, weakness, and unexplained bleeding and bruising.
As this virus progresses, it has the capability of impairing kidney and liver functions. It can even go on to cause internal and external bleeding.
Ebola is one of the most deadly viruses on Earth, with a fatality rate between 50 to 90 percent, and there is no cure as of yet.
The CDC reports that the Ebola virus gets its name from the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is close to one of the first initial outbreaks. The first report of the virus came in in 1976 following two outbreaks that occurred at almost the same time in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These outbreaks killed 431 people combined.
The natural reservoir host of Ebola virus remains unknown. However, on the basis of evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is animal-borne and that bats are the most likely reservoir. Four of the five virus strains occur in an animal host native to Africa.
Once the disease infects a person, it is easily passed on to another person that has been in close contact with the infected person.
How can you get it?
Ebola is transferred through contact with blood or secretions from an infected person, either directly or through surfaces, needles, or medical equipment that these substances have come in contact with.
A person is not contagious until they start showing signs that they have been infected. Luckily, the virus is not airborne meaning a person can not get the disease by simply breathing the same air as an infected person.
CDC.Gov indicates you can only get Ebola from:
Touching the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola.
Touching contaminated objects, like needles.
Touching infected animals, their blood or other body fluids, or their meat.
Who is at risk?
Those in close contact can be infected and are at the most risk. Health workers and caregivers of the sick are also at risk of being infected during the final stages of the disease.
The final stages of Ebola have the potential to cause internal and external bleeding.
What to do if you get sick
- get help early
- call your medical clinic, tell them about your condition, then listen to their directions
- keep away from others
- be careful of your bodily fluids
- wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water
- don’t touch infected people or their body fluids
- do not touch or eat “bush meat”
- do not eat bats
So now that you have information about the virus, are you worried?
Go leave a comment on our “Question of the Week!” page.
Use this link, and tell us what you think…