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Ebola Virus


What is Ebola Virus?

Ebola virus is one of a few viruses that can cause hemorrhagic fever syndrome. Ebola is thought to occur primarily in fruit bats, and causes them no harm, but is able to infect humans and other mammals.


What are the symptoms of Ebola Virus?

Signs and symptoms usually appear from 2 days to 3 weeks after contracting the virus. Symptoms of Ebola include fever, sore throat, muscle pain and severe headaches. Vomiting and diarrhea then develop, as may a rash. The liver and kidneys can begin to fail, and infected people may bleed into and out of their body.


Is Ebola Virus dangerous ?

Yes. On average, 50% of people infected with Ebola Virus will die. This is usually from 6 to 16 days after symptoms appear.


How is Ebola Virus caught?

Ebola is spread amongst humans by contact with blood or other body fluids.


What tests are needed for Ebola Virus?

Firstly, other diseases with similar symptoms, such as malaria, are excluded. There are then specific blood tests that can be carried out to test for the Ebola Virus.


What treatment is available for Ebola Virus?

Currently, Ebola has no specific treatment. Patients can be given rehydration, which improves outcomes. Whilst an Ebola vaccine is being developed, it is not yet commercially available.


Other links to Ebola Virus information:

NHS Choices site

Emedicine site




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