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.