What is Ebola virus?

Topic Selected: Global Health

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Ebola virus disease is a serious, usually fatal, disease for which there are no licensed treatments or vaccines. But for people living in countries outside Africa, it remains a very low threat.

 

Ebola was first identified in Africa in the mid-1970s. An outbreak that began in March 2014 was the most serious so far. By 13 August 2014 it had killed more than 1,000 people across Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

In August 2014, a British nurse who was treating patients in Sierra Leone contracted the Ebola virus and was flown back to the UK for treatment in a London hospital. But experts studying the virus believe it is very unlikely the disease will spread within the UK.

How do Ebola outbreaks start?

It’s thought the Ebola virus has been living harmlessly in fruit bats for many years, building up in this population and spreading to other for

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