Things You Need to Know About Ebola

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Ebola is a serious health risk for those that contract it, it can even be life threatening. With much conflicting information in the media and social media it is difficult to find out some simple questions about the disease, here are some commonly asked questions about Ebola.

Where Did Ebola Come From?

The first outbreaks of the Ebola virus happened in remote villages in Central Africa, these villages were close to tropical rainforests. The most recent outbreaks have occurred in West Africa in urban and rural areas; the worst affected areas were Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

Why is Ebola So Dangerous?

Ebola is an incredibly dangerous disease to have as it has fatality rate of around 50% and this makes it extremely important to diagnose it quickly and get treatment. On top of this the symptoms are similar to malaria and common illnesses like influenza, and this can make it extremely difficult to diagnose.

How Can We Prevent Ebola?

Despite the fact that there is no definitive treatment or vaccine for the Ebola virus, there are things that we can do to help prevent or in time eradicate the disease. The first step that we can take is to be cautious when visiting areas that are known to be affected and to be aware of the symptoms.

Another way in which people can contribute is to donate UNICEF’s Ebola appeal.

What are the signs of Ebola??

Generally the first signs of Ebola occur within the first twenty one days of contracting it and some examples of these are sore or weak muscles, sore throat, fever and headaches. After this more severe symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, and impaired liver and kidney function occur. The advanced stages of the disease are internal and external bleeding.

How does is spread?

Ebola is generally contracted through exposure to bodily fluids, such as blood, of an infected person onto broken skin or mucous membranes. Therefore things like sharing food or kissing present a risk for potential transmission of the disease.

The other risk is animals that may carry the Ebola virus and potentially infect humans, it is thought that bats are a natural carrier of the Ebola virus, monkeys are also known to carry it. A number of instances of Ebola have been caused by eating wild animals that were not cooked properly.