The current Ebola outbreak is the worst in history. According to the World Health Organization the outbreak may affect as many as 20,000 people before being contained. The virus has recently spread to Senegal, the fifth West African country to be hit with Ebola.
However, it’s important to separate the facts from the hysteria. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Ebola is a virus that spreads through direct contact, like an open wound, with the blood or body fluids of an infected person. Ebola can also be spread through contaminated needles or direct contact with an infected animal.
A person infected by the virus is not contagious until they begin to show symptoms, this is usually about 8-10 days after initial exposure. Symptoms include headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and weakness. More advanced symptoms include internal and external bleeding.
There is no FDC approved vaccines or medicine made specifically to treat ebola. Symptoms are usually treated as they appear, however, there are some experimental treatments in development with promising results.