Ebola virus continues to claim lives in Africa

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Staff of the ‘Doctors without Borders’ (‘Medecin sans frontieres’) medical aid organisation carry the body of a person killed by Ebola (viral haemorrhagic fever), at a center for victims of the Ebola virus in Guekedou, Guinea on April 1, 2014. (AFP Photo)

    The World Health Organisation has raised concerns about the deadly Ebola virus deadly spreading in West African nations, as epidemic’s death toll hits 111. Cases of this deadly virus have been recently reported in Congo, Liberia, Mali, Uganda, Guinea……
West Africa’s Ebola outbreak is among the ‘most challenging’ ever to strike since the disease emerged four decades ago in Congo.
“This is one of the most challenging Ebola outbreaks we have ever faced,” said Keiji Fukuda, assistant director-general of the World Health Organisation. He also said on Tuesday that it expected to have to confront an outbreak of the deadly virus Ebola in West Africa for the next two to four months.
But the United Nations agency said it was not recommending any travel restrictions to Guinea, which has a total of 157 suspected
and confirmed cases including 101 deaths, or Liberia which has 21 suspected and confirmed cases including 10 deaths.
  This is the first fatal outbreak in West Africa. The disease hadn’t been endemic to Guinea as it mostly affects Congo in Central
Africa and Uganda and Sudan in the east.
   Ebola has claimed almost 1,600 lives since it was first observed in 1976 on the territory of Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of
Congo. Fruit bats are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus. As there is no vaccine or treatment available, the Ebola virus kills from 25 to 90 percent of those who are infected.
A highly-contagious illness, it can be transmitted to humans from wild animals, and between humans through direct contact with another’s blood or sweat.
Sexual contact, or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses, can also lead to infection.
Its symptoms include severe fever, muscle pain, headaches, and sore throats, followed by vomiting, diarrhea, body rashes, and diminished kidney and liver
function. Some Ebola patients suffer from internal and external bleeding.

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