Africa

Ebola: Your questions answered

Tulip Mazumdar

More than 9,000 people have been killed by Ebola mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since the outbreak began.

The BBC's Tulip Mazumdar has returned to Freetown, Sierra Leone to see how plans to eliminate Ebola are progressing.

Tulip answered a selection of your questions on the topic in a live Twitter Q&A on Friday 17 July 2015 at 1100 BST. This is a transcript of that session - you can see it on twitter using the hashtag #AskBBCTulip.


Ms Kennedy asks by email: Is it safe to assume a survivor of Ebola will always carry the virus in his/her body?

Tulip answers: Not enough research to be conclusive Virus found in survivors' eye & semen. Believed to stay in semen for at least 3 months


G Strachan asks: Is treatment available to those overseas accessible to Africans yet?

Tulip answers: Yes, Zmapp trials are underway here in Sierra Leone. Vaccine trials also happening in all three worst affected countries


Finn Kelly asks: Is Ebola a threat to the western world?

Tulip answers: As long as cases anywhere in world, rest at risk. Only takes someone getting on plane to bring virus to another country


Daniel in Malaysia asks: What is the easiest way to prevent Ebola?

Tulip answers: Ebola passed via infected body fluids so don't touch fluids of sick people. Here in Sierra Leone still "AVOID BODY CONTACT"


Ms Kennedy asks: Why are Guinea & Sierra Leone still struggling with Ebola? What's Liberia doing differently? asks Ms Kennedy

Tulip answers: Cases peaked in Liberia before Sierra Leone. "How to prevent virus" advice seems to be taken on board more comprehensively


Haidar Alaamery asks: Is there a cure for Ebola?

Tulip answers: No proven cure - yet. Trials for treatment underway. Best chance of survival right now = getting supportive treatment early


Adam asks: It seems that a lot of Africans on twitter seem to think Ebola is a weapon? Why is this?

Tulip answers: Ebola rumours on social media have helped fuel fear/mis-information. Scientists believe bats a natural reservoir for virus


Dan asks: Is #Ebola spreading again?

Tulip answers: Liberia #Ebola free for 2 months. Now 6 new cases in 2 weeks. Ebola spreading since Dec 2013, slowed but not stopped since


Daniel asks: How do you identify early symptoms in those suffering from Ebola?

Tulip answers: Ebola usually starts with sudden fever, fatigue. Then vomiting & diarrhoea. Can also be internal & external bleeding,


Peter Onkendi asks: Why are we yet to take control of #Ebola spread in West Africa?

Tulip answers: This is biggest Ebola outbreak in history. Resources were slow to get here to fight virus, but are here now. Pockets of fear & resistance in some communities mean sick people are hiding & infecting others.


Nansinguza Jacob asks: How long does Ebola virus stay in its survivors?

Tulip answers: Research ongoing, but thought to stay in semen for at least 3 months. Also found in eye fluid & breast milk


Mewael Berhe asks: How do you describe the fear that Ebola has created in the majorly affected areas?

Tulip answers: People now used to living with Ebola, but still strikes fear in communities. Constant reminder #Ebola is still here with trading restrictions & "Avoid Body Contact" policy.


Tausif AB asks: What is status of #Ebola vaccine trials by GSK and Merck in Africa?

Tulip answers: Need to check latest. My understanding: trials struggling to get volunteers with #Ebola exposure to generate enough data


Bernard Phiri asks: How many times can a person catch Ebola virus?

Tulip answers: Evidence so far suggests someone can only catch #Ebola once, but research is ongoing


Jetset Eat Repeat asks: Is eradication of bats considered a preventative measure? If so, is it feasible?

Tulip answers: This is not something being considered as far as I am aware


John asks: What is the origin of the Ebola disease?

Tulip answers: Fruit bats thought to be natural #Ebola reservoir. Scientists believe 2014 Ebola outbreak started when two year old infected playing in hollow tree housing bat colony.


Image caption "Finishing up live Q&A in Freetown. Thanks for all ur great questions. "

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