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Ebola virus – the facts
Kippreport rounds up key facts and figures about the Ebola pandemic
August 9, 2014 10:29 by Nadine Sayegh
Ebola is a deadly virus, with a staggering mortality rate reaching as high as 90 per cent.
Classified as a viral hemorrhagic fever, similar to the likes of Yellow Fever and Dengue Fever, the main trait of the illness is that the patient’s blood loses its ability to clot, meaning internal bleeding becomes out of control.
Symptoms and spread
As with a number of other viruses, early symptoms strongly resemble those of a common cold.
First signs include a runny nose and chills, but once the virus begins to progress, the patient’s white blood cells begin to burst which, in turn, prevents blood from clotting.
This causes the patient to bleed internally, and frequently results in scarlet-red eyes, as well as scattered bruising on the body.
As of yet, the virus is not airborne and can only be transferred through bodily fluids. However, unlike other illnesses, it can be transferred through sweat and saliva.
While the virus has not reached Dubai, as Kipp reported in a previous post, it is important to keep an eye out for symptoms, particularly if you have come into contact with someone returning from West Africa.
If any flu-like symptoms arise, please visit your doctor to eliminate the possibility.
But where did it all start?
The first recorded Ebola outbreak occurred in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where a total of 318 people were infected, 280 died.
Another outbreak occurred that same year in Sudan where 284 people were infected and, of those, 151 died.
The virus was then dormant for the following two decades, only to resurface in 1995, where 315 people were infected in the DRC, West Africa. Only 75 survived.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Ebola surfaced several times from 1995 till 2012 with fatality rates between 50 to 90 per cent.