The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700 people in West Africa and infected more than 1,300, according to the World Health Organization. The organization is calling it the largest recorded outbreak of Ebola.
A physician from Emory Hospital said he has no concerns about his and his team's personal health while they treat two Ebola patients. VPC
USA Network explains why the virus is so deadly.
What are the symptoms?
Initial symptoms include fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. These symptoms are followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function and sometimes internal and external bleeding, according to WHO.
Symptoms usually appear 8-10 days after infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. WHO says lab tests of contaminated individuals find low white blood cell and platelet counts.
How does the virus spread?
The virus is transmitted from wild animals to humans. Humans spread the virus through contact with blood or other body fluids of an infected person, as well as exposure to objects like contaminated needles, according to the CDC.
People most at risk include health workers and family members or others who are in contact with the infected people, according to WHO.
What is the treatment?
Currently, there is no vaccine. Treatment consists only of "supportive therapy," according to the CDC.
How deadly is Ebola?
In past outbreaks, up to 90% of humans who contract the virus have died. WHO describes Ebola as "one of the world's most virulent diseases."
How can Ebola be prevented?
It's unknown what the natural host for Ebola is, but it's believed to be the fruit bat. If an outbreak among animals is suspected, the best practice is to quarantine the animals, cull the infected animals and bury or incinerate the carcasses, according to WHO.
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