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Ebola and other haemorrhagic fevers
Infection
Ebola virus has a natural reservoir in animals, but it is not known which animals, which makes prevention more difficult. Infection from one person to another happens through body secretions containing the virus, but the infection is not airborne.

Vaccination
None

Symptoms
The incubation period is usually between 5 to 10 days, and the symptoms starts with fever, headache and vomiting. Later come nausea, diarrhoea, stomach pain, sore throat, sore eyes and jaundice. In the late, terminal stage is seen bleedings in the skin and from the membranes like the mouth and anus.

Diagnosis
Detection of antibodies in a blood sample and the virus by DNA technology.

Treatment
Supportive only. No specific antiviral drugs available.

Prevention
Prevention is difficult as long as the natural reservoir is not known.There are international quarantine rules for travellers suspected of being infected with Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers.

More about Ebola and other haemorrhagic virus
Ebola virus is a member of a group of virus known as hemorrhagic because they cause profuse bleeding in the skin, mucus membranes and internal organs. The group include virus like Lassa and Marburg virus.
There was a large outbreak with more than 450 cases in Northern Uganda in 1999 and presently, there is an outbreak at the border between Gabon and the Democratic republic of Congo.

Further information
  • Further information:W.H.O. Haemorrhagic fevers

    Edited 10 December 2008
    Udbrud December 2001