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What is Ebola?

The+ebola+virus+that+is+currently+spreading+around.
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What is Ebola?

The ebola virus that is currently spreading around.

The ebola virus that is currently spreading around.

The ebola virus that is currently spreading around.

The ebola virus that is currently spreading around.

Andy Ha, Online Editor-In-Chief

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Ebola is a disease of humans and other primates caused by Ebola viruses. It is not something new. Ebola was first identified back in 1976. At that time, there was an outbreak of Ebola in Sudan that infected 241 people. Outbreaks continued throughout the years in Africa. This year’s outbreak in West Africa though has been the largest outbreak of Ebola ever documented.

What makes people in the United States afraid is that it is beginning to appear here, mostly in health workers who have treated Ebola patients. Health workers in New York and Texas have contracted the disease, but the disease has been treated in Nebraska and Georgia as well.

Symptoms include tiredness, fever, muscle and joint pain, head ache, and sore throats. Following that, other symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach aches, shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling, and confusion. Ebola is spread by direct contact of blood or bodily fluid among people.

Ebola began in West Africa but has since gone international. As the epidemic spread throughout West Africa, it landed itself here in the United States. Back on Sept. 24, Eric Duncan, a native from Liberia who came to Texas, went to the hospital after showing symptoms of the disease. He was sent home, but later returned when his condition got worse. He died Oct. 8 after being officially diagnosed with the disease on Sept. 28. The nurse who helped him caught the disease and was officially diagnosed on Oct. 15.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 240 health care workers who helped take care of the infected were diagnosed with the disease. Out of those 240 workers who were infected, 120 have died. They also stated that only four countries (Senegal, Nigeria, Spain, and the United States) outside of West Africa have been affected by the epidemic. Twenty-five cases of Ebola were documented altogether from the four countries, and the death toll is nine.

Within West Africa though, it’s not looking so good. The World Health Organization released an update of the epidemic on Oct. 17 and the numbers seem to be reaching the pinnacle. In the update, it states that there are currently 9191 cases of Ebola recorded in the countries that are majorly affected by the disease(Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea). Out of that number, 4546 have died. The organization said that the numbers could change due to on-going reclassification, investigations, and the waiting of lab results.

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What is Ebola?