By Amber Verrill
Ebola is an illness caused by the Ebola Virus, in which symptoms include headaches, fever, sore throat, and fevers.
People may become symptomatic from anywhere between two days to three weeks after contact with the virus.
More symptoms can arise as the virus progresses in the body such as, vomiting, diarrhea, and internal and external bleeding.
Symptoms of Ebola are very similar to those of cholera and malaria. Those other illnesses are ruled out and then doctors test the blood for the virus in order to confirm that it is Ebola virus.
It is transmitted through blood or other bodily fluids. It can be contracted from other animals if a person comes in contact with the effected animal. Animal carriers are mostly chimpanzees and bats.
Currently, there are no treatments for Ebola virus. Patients are given fluids intravenously in order to prevent symptoms getting worse. Scientists are working on a vaccine against the virus.
In order to prevent the contraction of Ebola, one can take sanitary precautions including washing their hands or wearing protective equipment when dealing with sick persons.
People who are most at risk for contracting the virus are healthcare workers and families of an infected person.
There are five different strands of Ebola virus that are known. All of them are named after the areas in which the first outbreaks occurred.
The most common strand is named the Ebola virus, formerly name the Zaire virus. It has the highest fatality rate and was founded in 1976. A few of the other viruses are named Sudan Ebola virus and Côte d’Ivoire Ebola virus.
According to the CDC there has recently been an outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa. Scientists say that this is the biggest outbreak of the virus ever seen and the first time that West Africa has seen an outbreak.
Due to the current outbreaks there have been large amounts of funding towards finding a treatment for the Ebola virus.
As of current, there are no risks of an Ebola outbreak in the United States.