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What is Ebola Virus, and why are people afraid of it?

13 August, 2014


DIBP released news regarding the Ebola Virus on August 8, 2014, stating that the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has been reported in West Africa and states that the government is monitoring the virus. We’ve heard about the Ebola Virus for the past few days and weeks but do we really know what it is and what it does to us? Why are we afraid of it breaking out? And why is it closely monitored by the officials?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Ebola Virus is also known as Ebola HF, or Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever. It is a severe, often fatal disease that is caused by an infection, and when an infection occurs, the symptoms usually begin abruptly. It affects humans and nonhuman primates such as gorillas, monkeys, and chimpanzees.

If the symptoms begin almost immediately after being affected, what are the symptoms we should look out for? The following is a list of signs and symptoms of Ebola HF:

Symptoms of Ebola HF typically include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Lack of appetite

Some patients may experience:

  • A Rash
  • Red Eyes
  • Hiccups
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Bleeding inside and outside of the body

CDC states that the symptoms can start anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola virus though 8-10 days is most common. Some people who are infected with the Ebola virus are able to recover but there are some cases that they do not and it’s usually because of underdeveloped or having a weak immune response to the virus.

The Australian Government is already monitoring the Ebola virus to reduce the risk of it entering the country. Even though there's a small chance of you having it, the government are strict about threats to public health, so it's best to have yourself a check up.

For more information regarding the Ebola Virus, visit Ebola Hemorraghic Fever  (CDC) and Ebola (DIBP News).

And for more information regarding the threats to public health that DIBP is monitoring, visit Threats to Public Health (DIBP).


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