What is Ebola, and how does it spread?

June 15, 2019

Although not declaring a global emergency about the latest outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is clear the World Health Organisation (WHO) is profoundly concerned and it would seem with good reason.

 

So far, the deadly virus has killed at least 1,400 people to become the second most significant outbreak since the disease was first discovered back in 1976. Furthermore, it is now showing signs of spreading to neighbouring countries, notably Uganda, where a mother and son died soon after returning from the DRC.

 

What are the initial symptoms of EBOLA?

 

In most cases, after first being exposed to the virus, the illness lays dormant between 2 days and 3 weeks. Then after this initial period, the infected person begins to display flu-like symptoms, which include muscle pain, sudden fever, sore throat and extreme body weakness.

 

After this initial period, the virus then drains the body of most of its bodies fluids dehydrating the person into a vegetative state. Most people at this stage are bleeding both internally, and externally, at this stage, many show the classic red eye system caused by the body bleeding into the whites of the person’s eyes, at this stage typically there is no return for the sick person, most lapse into a coma and die of dehydration or multiple organ failure.

 

What causes EBOLA, and how is it spread?

 

It has not been documented that EBOLA can be spread through the air, but some say that this is possible., However, most scientists say that the virus spreads through direct contact with body fluids of an infected animal or person. It is also known that the Ebola virus can be spread through the breastmilk or semen of a recovered person up to 3 months after recovery.

 

Where does the EBOLA virus originate?

 

Fruit bats are believed to be the main culprits, but the human consumption of game meat, notably monkey meat also is of primary concern.

 

Are we in danger of an Ebola global Pandemic?

 

In the past, the answer to the above question would have been a resounding no, people in the past just did not travel as we do today. However, as we all now know, travel in the 21st century is now much more accessible as it was in the past and as Ebola in some case can take up to 3 weeks before symptoms become noticeable, a person could have visited many countries within that period spreading the virus as he or she travelled.

 

Steve Simmonds

Global Breaking News Hub

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