What is the Ebola Virus?
While malaria, tuberculosis, and measles are common, and often fatal diseases in the countries of the current outbreak of Ebola, this hemorrhagic fever has captured public attention.
Ebola is a hemorrhagic fever caused by a virus, first identified in the Congo River Basin in 1976. Scientists believe that it is spread by direct contact with bodily fluids of blood, vomit, feces, urine, sweat, and tears of those infected. It is much easier to control than other illnesses such as influenza or cholera that are spread by air droplets or contaminated water. However, due to the severity of the illness, with a mortality rate ranging from 50% to 90%, this has captured the public’s attention as a modern plague. Many consider it to be the major disease threats of modern times, rivaled only by the spread of AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s.