Health

WHO: Ebola is 'public health emergency'

A Liberian woman weeps over the death of a relative from Ebola on the outskirts of Monrovia (6 August 2014) Image copyright EPA
Image caption A Liberian woman weeps over the death of a relative from Ebola on the outskirts of Monrovia

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global health emergency over Ebola.

It could involve detailed plans to identify, isolate and treat cases, as well as impose travel restrictions on affected areas.

There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola but patients have a better chance of survival with early treatment.

Ebola has initial flu-like symptoms that can lead to internal bleeding, which can lead to organ failure.

Ebola virus disease (EVD)

Image copyright Science Photo Library
  • Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
  • Fatality rate can reach 90% - but the current outbreak is about 55%
  • Incubation period is two to 21 days
  • There is no vaccine or cure
  • Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery
  • Fruit bats are considered to be virus' natural host

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