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Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever)

Ebola Virus Disease Facts

Patient Comments
  • Ebola virus disease (EVD), also referred to as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe and often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates such as monkeys, chimpanzees, and gorillas.
  • Ebola virus disease is caused by Ebola virus, named after a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) in Africa, where it was first recognized.
  • Ebola virus disease outbreaks occur mainly in villages in Central and West Africa and have a mortality rate up to 90%.
  • The Ebola virus is thought to be transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human contact.
  • Symptoms of Ebola virus disease occur suddenly up to 21 days after exposure and include fever, headache, sore throat, joint and muscle aches, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Some patients may bleed inside and outside the body.
  • A person is contagious when early symptoms start. Survivors remain contagious for 21-42 days after symptoms go away. Some patients have detectable virus in the semen and in the eyes for many months, but the contagious period related to this viral presence is not known.
  • Treatment is supportive care. There is no licensed drug or vaccine available, but experimental therapy is being tested.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/26/2016

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The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Ebola (Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever or Ebola Virus Disease):

Ebola Virus Disease - Experience

Please describe your experience with the Ebola virus.

History of the Ebola Virus

In 1976, the Ebola virus was discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo near the Ebola River.

Though there have been sporadic outbreaks since 1976, a 2014 outbreak in West Africa is the largest outbreak of the Ebola virus to date.

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