FACTS: Although the origins of Ebola hemorrhagic fever are unknown, the Ebola virus was first recognized in 1976 near the Ebola river in the Congo in Africa.
You do not want to get Ebola. A short incubation period of 2 to 21 days presages symptoms which include fever, aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting, and both internal and external bleeding. And then, for between 50-90% of victims, death.
Because the initial symptoms mimic those of many diseases, it can be difficult to diagnose Ebola correctly. Fortunately, cases occur only sporadically. In several years since 1976, there have been no identified cases. And even the outbreaks have been limited to a few hundred cases – many of which have been the result of nosocomial transmission (transmission in a health-care setting).
Other than an infection in England caused by a contaminated needle and a few scares in Italy and the United States caused by monkeys in quarantine facilities in the early 1990’s, cases have also thus far been confined to remote parts of Africa. So if you’re under the weather, don’t worry: you probably have something else.
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