10 Facts About Ebola You Wanted To Know

Everyone is talking about Ebola and some people are even freaking out. But does everyone really know the facts? Before you engage in your next Ebola discussion, here are some facts you need to know.


Ebola is a virus



Well, actually, it belongs to a class of RNA viruses called Filoviridae, meaning thread-like owing to its shape. Five strains of the virus have been identified to date, four of which affect humans and the fifth affects only primates.



Ebola is contagious

The virus is spread through direct contact with infected bodily fluids, including – but not limited to – blood, urine, fecal matter, breast milk and semen. Thus, health workers are most at risk of being infected. It is also said that the virus is contagious from a patient’s semen seven weeks after recovery from the disease!



Ebola is deadly


Ebola’s fatality rate ranges from 25 to 90%. The current outbreak has a fatality rate of around 50%. This high death rate is due to internal and external bleeding in late stages of the disease. In addition, no proper treatment for the virus nor a vaccine are available, but a couple of vaccines and medical treatments are currently under trial.



Ebola is a river


Ebola was named after a river near the village of Yambuku in Democratic Republic of the Congo (previously Zaire) where it was first identified by Belgian microbiologist Peter Piot. The Congolese river Ebola is called, in the local Ngbandi language, the Legbala, which means “white water”, from the French “l’Eau blanche”. Ebola is an adaptation of “Legbala”.



Ebola is young

Ebola turned 38 this Halloween. The first picture of the Ebola Zaire virus was first taken on October 31st, 1976 by Frederick A. Murphy of the CDC at 160,000x magnification.



Ebola is tiny



Ebola is 80 nm in diameter and 970-1200 nm in length. The nanometer is 1/1,000,000,000 m.



Ebola is cute

A stuffed toy of the virus manufactured by the American company Giant Microbes has sold out in October 2014 due to popular demand.



Ebola is not Green Monkey Fever


Ebola was first mistaken for the deadly Marburg virus, which caused an outbreak in 1967 and was associated with lab work with African Green Monkeys. Both viruses belong to the same family and have similar clinical symptoms. Ebola virus was initially thought to be a cross infection from monkeys, but scientists have now settled that a type of fruit bat of the Pteropodidae family is the natural host of the virus.



Ebola is a conspiracy

ebola virus

Not really. But conspiracy theorists all over the Internet are spreading rumors that it is being used by governments and the New World Order as a means of mass production control of the population and a bio-weapon of mass destruction. Even locals in villages in Central and West Africa claim that the wirus is being spread by the “white doctors” or a work of witchcraft.



Ebola is famous


The current outbreak has gained world attention. Social media and news websites are swamped with the outbreak news. Ebola memes have started to circulate (most of which are tasteless) and the hashtag #ebola has crossed 10 million tweets.


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