Ebola

(Most of) What You Need to Know

In the last few weeks, it has been impossible to escape discussions about Ebola on the news. What actually is Ebola and why is everyone so scared of it? 

 

Ebola is a virus that spreads through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person or primate. There are different strains of ebolaviruses which cause the disease, each strain has a different degree of severity but on average there is a 50% survival rate. One of the reasons there is so much worry about Ebola is that there is no known cure. The current Ebola outbreak is the largest ever recorded and is located mainly in three West African countries: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. As of November 4th 2014, 5285 deaths have been reported, although the WHO warns that this may be vastly underestimated. However, to put this in context, globally there are between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths from flu each year. Whilst Ebola is definitely something that should be tackled, it is probably not the apocalyptic threat the media is claiming it to be.  

 

Josie Dallas VII

 

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