Ebola is arguably the most feared viral infection on the planet and for good reason too. It has a fatality rate of 90% and yet it’s often misdiagnosed as malaria.
The disease was subdued a bit after it killed close to 1,500 people in DRC alone.
Here are 20 Ebola facts you probably don’t know about:
- The Ebola virus is not waterborne or airborne.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ebola virus can be transmitted to others through direct contact with blood or secretions and fluids of an infected person.
- Exposure to any objects contaminated by infected bodily secretions and fluids can also transmit the disease from person to person.
- The spread of Ebola can happen through close contact when caring for ill persons.
- Without proper cleaning and sterilization of medical equipment, Ebola can spread quickly.
- Ebola virus is a severe acute viral disease often mistaken as malaria, typhoid fever, shigellosis, cholera, leptospirosis, plague, rickettsiosis, relapsing fever, meningitis, hepatitis, and other hemorrhagic fevers. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that these diseases be ruled out before the diagnosis of Ebola virus.
- The incubation period (time from exposure to infection or apparent symptoms) is 2-21 days, but 8-10 days is most common.
- Currently, there is no cure for Ebola virus—however, symptoms are treated in the infected person.
Symptoms occur abruptly.
- Symptoms of Ebola: fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite.
- Other symptoms of Ebola include rash, red eyes, hiccups, cough, sore throat, chest pain, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, external and internal bleeding.
- Animal or insect bites or stings can transmit the Ebola virus.
- Ebola is one of many Hemorrhagic fevers.
- The natural reservoir host of Ebola virus remains unknown.
- Experts believe Ebola is zoonotic with fruit bats being the likeliest reservoir and is transmitted to people from wild animals, then spreads from human to human.
- Ebola is now more commonly called Ebola virus disease.
- Ebola was first discovered in 1976 in former Zaire, or what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo near the Ebola River.
- The case fatality rate for Ebola virus is 90%, according to the WHO.
- Health workers treating Ebola virus patients should wear protective clothing masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles; use infection-control measures such as complete equipment sterilization and routine use of disinfectant, and isolated infected patients to minimize contact with unprotected patients to protect themselves from contracting Ebola virus.
- By kissing or shared drinks with an infected person you can get the virus.
- Touching a contaminated surface such as a doorknob can get one infected with the virus.