What must people know about Ebola?
Ebola is a rare but deadly virus that causes fever, body aches, and diarrhea, and sometimes bleeding inside and outside the body.
As the virus spreads through the body, it damages the immune system and organs. Ultimately, it causes levels of blood-clotting cells to drop. This leads to severe, uncontrollable bleeding.
The disease was known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever but is now referred to as Ebola virus.
It kills up to 90% of people who are infected.
How Do You Get Ebola?
Ebola isn’t as contagious as more common viruses like colds, influenza, or measles. It spreads to people by contact with the skin or bodily fluids of an infected animal, like a monkey, chimp, or fruit bat. Then it moves from person to person the same way. Those who care for a sick person or bury someone who has died from the disease often get it.
Other ways to get Ebola include touching contaminated needles or surfaces.
You can’t get Ebola from air, water, or food. A person who has Ebola but has no symptoms can’t spread the disease, either.
What Are the Symptoms of Ebola?
- High fever
- Joint and muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Stomach pain
- Lack of appetite
As the disease gets worse, it causes bleeding inside the body, as well as from the eyes, ears, and nose. Some people will vomit or cough up blood, have bloody diarrhea, and get a rash.
How Can You Prevent Ebola?
- The best way to avoid catching the disease is by not traveling to areas where the virus is found.
- If you are in areas where Ebola is present, avoid contact with bats, monkeys, chimpanzees, and gorillas since these animals spread Ebola to people.
- Health care workers can prevent infection by wearing masks, gloves, and goggles whenever they come into contact with people who may have Ebola.