In what is said to be the worst outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in history, Over 900 people in Africa have died; including a top doctor in the field and several healthcare workers. Carriers of the virus can remain asymptomatic for days and often by the time symptoms do manifest, the disease is full blown.
Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, headache, nausea, rash and bleeding from the mouth, eyes and rectum. Early detection can be the key to survival. Early Signs of the disease are a rash and fever. Re-hydration therapy and intravenous fluids are the only treatments available.
Bats are a popular food source in Africa and are also the primary carriers of the disease. Many healthcare providers, including Doctors Without Borders are working quickly to contain the virus.
As of yet, there is no cure for the Ebola Virus, although researchers are working on a vaccine. The disease, which has re-surfaced periodically through the years carries a 50 to 90 percent fatality rate. Males that survive the illness may be able to transmit the disease sexually for nearly two months.
Prevention involves decreasing the spread of the disease from infected monkeys and pigs to humans.
There are no confirmed cases of Ebola in the United States. A Doctor stricken with the virus in Africa was recently transported to the United States and is said to be improving and a man in New York is currently being tested for the disease.
The good news is that the virus can only be spread through contact with bodily fluids of those who are infected.
Until recently, fewer than 1,000 people a year have been infected. The cities with the largest Ebola cases are Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The disease was first identified in the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.