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All About Ebola

Ever since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Africa over the summer, and especially since Emory University has treated a number of infected patients, there have been many questions and rumors about the virus itself and how it spreads. Posts on every form of social media have shown that people might be clueless when it comes to this topic; even Chris Brown has been quoted, claiming “I think this Ebola s**t is just a way of population control.”

To help out during this time of confusion, Her Campus is here with some facts from REAL sources, like the CDC.

Some History

There are five Ebola virus species, four of which are known to cause disease in humans. They affect both humans and nonhuman primates, and these viruses are found in several African countries. Ebola was first discovered near the Ebola River in DRC in 1976—since that time, there have been a number of outbreaks in Africa. The natural reservoir host of Ebola is currently unknown, though many researchers believe that it is an animal-borne virus, most likely and that the reservoir is probably the bat.

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Severe headache
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Hemorrhage or bruising

Transmission

Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids, objects (e.g. needles) that have been contaminated with the virus, and infected animals. Contrary to what some may believe, Ebola is not spread through casual physical contact, air, water, or food. There is also no evidence that mosquitos and other insects can transmit the virus.

Hopefully this information eases any fears you may have about the possibility of an Ebola outbreak in the US—or at Emory! The chances of Ebola spreading throughout our campus, as officials have confirmed, is extremely unlikely. For more information, visit the CDC website here.

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