Why you need to be worried; Ebola Virus has killed about 700 people in Africa
The new killer disease ”Ebola Virus” which has caused a huge alarm in most West African countries, leading to the deaths of nearly 700 people since February, new reports from doctors around the world says; the virus spreads through contact with bodily fluids of someone who is infected. Reports of human infections usually first emerge in remote areas that are in proximity to tropical rain forests, where humans can come into contact with animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas and forest antelope. The consumption of bush meat is often a precursor to such outbreaks. The WHO says fruit bats are probably the natural host for the virus.
Ebola virus is a highly infectious illness with fatality rates up to 90 percent, according to the U.N. World Health Organization. Symptoms initially include a sudden fever as well as joint and muscle aches and then typically progress to vomiting, diarrhea and, in some cases, internal and external bleeding.
The Ebola Virus was named after a tributary river in northern Congo. In 1976, a village near the river was the site of one of two simultaneous outbreaks of the disease (the other was in Sudan). Of the six known strains of Ebola, the five that are transmittable to humans are found in Africa. A sixth, the Reston virus, ravaged monkey populations in the Philippines, but no humans in its environs have contacted the illness.
There is no known vaccine or cure for the disease, but if caught early, it can be battled like other viruses such as influenza. The disease is alarmingly contagious, there have been incidents in which the disease has spread at funerals for victims. Public health officials deem an outbreak to be over only after 42 days have elapsed without any new confirmed cases, which is leading some to predict that the current crisis may last well into the autumn.
Most African countries like Liberia has sealed off most of its border crossings but the main airports are open for travelers. Nigeria has placed all entry points into the country on “red alert.” The threat of the virus spreading beyond the immediate region remains real, and authorities have to be vigilant. A patient may manifest symptoms of the virus only three weeks after getting infected.