What is Ebola?

The Ebola virus is a serious and deadly disease transmitted by animals and humans. An outbreak occurred in March 2014 that began in West Africa. This outbreak has proven more deadly, severe and widespread than previous outbreaks.

What causes Ebola?

The Ebola virus belongs to the viral family Filoviridae. These virus types cause hemorrhagic fever or profuse bleeding inside and outside the body accompanied by a very high fever.

The Ebola virus likely originated in African fruit bats. It's transmitted to humans from animals. Humans can also transfer the virus to each other. Other animals known to transmit the virus include :

A. Chimpanzees

B. Forest Antelopes

C. Gorillas

D. Monkeys

E. Porcupines

Since people may handle these infected animals, the virus can be transmitted via the animal's blood and body fluids. Once people become infected with Ebola, they can transmit it to others if people come in contact with their:

A. Breast milk

B. Feaces

C. Saliva

D. Semen

E. Sweat

F. Urine

G. Vomit

These bodily fluids can all carry Ebola virus. People can get Ebola when they come in contact with these fluids via the eyes, nose, mouth or broken skin.

Healthcare workers are especially at risk of being infected because they deal with blood and bodily fluids. Ebola can also be spread through sticks from infected objects, such as needles or interactions with infected animals. To date, Ebola is only known to be transmitted from infected mammals and humans. Insects like mosquitoes are not linked with carrying Ebola.

What are the symptoms of Ebola?

Ebola symptoms can take as long as three weeks to appear. Disease symptoms include :

A. Diarrhea

B. Fever

C. Headache

D. Muscle pain

E. Stomach paom

F. Unexplained bleeding or bruising

G. Vomiting

Preventing Ebola

1. Avoid contact with blood and body fluids

2. Educating yourselves on recognizing the disease and preventing it.

3. Practice careful hand hygiene, including washing hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

4. Refraining from engaging in burial rituals that involves handling the body of a person who died from Ebola.

5. Refraining from handling items a person with Ebola has handled, including clothing, bedding, needles, or medical equipment.

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