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Ebola 101: What You May Have Missed about the Virus

Summary: Every day there seems to be something new about the Ebola virus, which may lead you to question everything you've previously thought.
Air Date: 10/24/14
Duration: 10
Host: Leigh Vinocur, MD
Guest Bio: Rade Vukmir, MD & David Pigott, MD
Dr. Rade Vukmir

Rade B. Vukmir, MD, JD, FCCP, FACEP, FACHE, is Chief Clinical Officer for National Guardian Risk Retention Group. Dr. Vukmir is the Chairman of ECI's Education and Risk Management Department. He holds an academic appointment as Professor (Adjunct) of Emergency Medicine at Temple University. He has written extensively about Ebola and infectious disease in general.

He is board-certified in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians, and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Dr. Vukmir received medical and legal degrees from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. He completed a residency program in Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, a clinical fellowship in Critical Care at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and a research fellowship in Resuscitation at the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research. He is a certified instructor of Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Advanced Trauma Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and the Fundamentals of Critical Care Support.

He is the author of 42, peer-reviewed medical journal articles, as well as seven books. He is the recipient of the University of Pittsburgh Affiliated Residency and Emergency Medicine Faculty Excellence Award for 1991 and 1992.

Dr. David Pigott

David C. Pigott, MD, FACEP, is Professor of Emergency Medicine, Vice Chair for Academic Development at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. Pigott has authored multiple articles and book chapters related to viral hemorrhagic fevers, including the Ebola virus and serves as a manuscript reviewer on viral hemorrhagic fevers for The Lancet.

He is teaching two related courses about Ebola and the U.S. Experience and infectious disease at ACEP's upcoming Scientific Assembly conference in Chicago.
Ebola 101: What You May Have Missed about the Virus
There has been a lot of hype and panic happening all over the world since the latest Ebola outbreak began back in March 2014 in West Africa.

However, you may feel like you're being left in the dark when it comes to this important health topic.

Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a very severe infectious and life-threatening disease characterized by fever and internal bleeding. Other symptoms of Ebola during the early stages of the disease closely resemble the flu. Ebola has an incubation period of 2-21 days.

So far, outside of West Africa, there have been at least 18 cases in both the United States and Europe. The most recent patient, a doctor in New York City who came back from Guinea while working with Doctors Without Borders, tested positive for Ebola on October 23, 2014.

Where and when was Ebola first discovered?

The Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 and named after the African river, Ebola. Since Ebola is a strain of a hemorrhagic virus, it was first misdiagnosed as Lassa fever. This current outbreak is the worst Ebola outbreak since it was first discovered.

Ebola is believed to have come from fruit bats, which can carry the virus without being infected. Ebola is transmitted to humans by eating certain foods -- fruit or meat -- that could have been contaminated by fruit bats.

What else do you need to know about how Ebola first came about and how it's being transferred?

Rade B. Vukmir, MD, and David C. Pigott, MD, share where Ebola was first found, the symptoms associated with the virus and how it was first transmitted to humans.