Ebola (genus) is from the Filoviridae Family and was previously made up of four sub-groups, geographically based. Reston, Sudan, Zaire and Cote d’Ivoire now have company with the Bundibugyo strain. Of note, the Marburg Virus is also in the same Filoviridae family.
Fortunately, travelers have a very low risk of acquiring this lethal infection.
Risk factors for Ebola Virus:
- Preparing of “bush-meat“
- Handling of dead animals, especially primates
- Contact with the body fluids (blood, saliva, urine, vomit) of an infected person
Ebola takes it’s name from a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo where it was first noticed in 1976. Unfortunately, the virus carries a 50-90% mortality rate and there is no vaccine or treatment available. Common symptoms include a high fever, headache and myalgia that progress to a maculopapular rash with vomiting. A chart from the CDC shows all previous Ebola outbreaks and fatalities. Unfortunately, hospital workers represent a large number of cases. This should draw attention to a need for decreasing nosocomial transmissions in the effected countries and better protective equipment for patients and healthcare workers.
For some more information:
Citation and Link:
Towner JS, Sealy TK, Khristova ML, Albariño CG, Conlan S, et al. 2008 Newly Discovered Ebola Virus Associated with Hemorrhagic Fever Outbreak in Uganda. PLoS Pathogens 4(11): e1000212 doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000212