With no current cure and a 50 - 90 percent chance of death, the Ebola virus is one of the world's most deadly diseases. Sudden fever, weakness, muscle pain, headaches and sore throats are the first symptoms of Ebola. These symptoms progress into vomiting, a rash, diarrhea, limited kidney function, limited liver function and both internal and external bleeding.
Although nobody knows where the disease came from, the first outbreaks of the Ebola virus occurred in Zaire in 1976. At first, it quickly killed many people in Zaire because the doctors unknowingly allowed infected victims to roam the public areas and the disease spread quickly. Now, we know that transmission of the Ebola virus happens when direct contact with an infected person's bodily fluids is made. Therefore, it is important that infected victims are immediately isolated in order to avoid the spreading of the disease. Even touching sick or dead chimpanzees can transmit the virus!
The Ebola disease disappears and reappears and nobody knows quite why. Another outbreak immediately followed the first in Sudan, but after that, there were no more cases reported for three whole years. In 1979, Ebola reared its ugly head again in Sudan before disappearing for another 16 years. Then, in April 1995, another case showed up in Kikwit, Zaire: a patient being operated on for what they thought was malaria infected the surgical team performing the operation... At this time, everyone thought that white people could not get the disease, so the mostly-white medical team used little protection with the patient. Also at this time, they also found out just how contagious Ebola is when one of the nurses in Kikwit got the virus just by closing the eyes of a friend that died of the disease. This even happened through his protective clothing!
Although the virus was spreading at a rapid rate, all the international health services (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, and the World Health Organization and the medical communities in France, Belgium, and several southern African nations) were able to keep Ebola from spreading. Now, even though there is still not a cure for Ebola, the world is pretty safe from this deadly and rare disease.
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