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Health Topic Of The Week: Six things you should know about Ebola

Source: | Kojo Smith /

Ebola is a rare disease with no cure or vaccine. The epidemics are small, but they cause panic because the disease is fatal. In up to 90 percent of cases, carriers can lose a lot of blood, even through their nose and their urine for the sick. Dozens of people in Guinea have died of the Ebola virus as well as many infected in Liberia.

Ghana on Sunday April 6, 2014 recorded its first suspected Ebola case. The patient, a 12-year-old girl, has been admitted to allow for further testing.

Here are six things you should know about Ebola.

Medication against the virus does not yet exist

Many of the people who become infected usually die. After the outbreak, more than half of the patients, up to even ninety percent die because medicines or vaccines are not available.

Ebola is found mainly in Central and West Africa

Outbreaks of the virus emerged, particularly in small, remote villages, near the rainforest. Through contact with the blood, faeces and other body fluids of animals and can be transmitted to humans.

Bats are considered the natural carrier of the virus

The sale and consumption of these particular animals following the recent outbreak of Ebola is prohibited. “Bush meat,” meat of various wild animals, is popular in Central and West Africa.

The virus is also transmitted from human to human

Ebola can be transmitted through direct contact with open wounds, mucous membranes and body fluids, and after indirect contact with a contaminated environment. This is how the virus is transmitted among humans.

Traditional funeral ceremonies in which the body of a deceased person infected is touched can lead to the spread of the virus among humans.

Two to 21 days after infection, the symptoms will follow

Infected people get high fever, a feeling of weakness, headache and sore throat. It is followed by symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, kidney and liver failure and sometimes internal and external bleeding.

Ebola was first registered in 1976

In 1976, there were two outbreaks: in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the latter country, people near the river Ebola contracted this sickness; hence the name of the virus.

In 2000, 425 people were killed in Uganda due to an Ebola outbreak. In 2007, hundreds of people died in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.