Sayidangwa Kunafonin

Sayidangwa Kunafonin

English Translation of Page 1

Frequently asked questions on Ebola virus disease
Updated 7 August 2014
1. What is Ebola virus disease?
Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) is a severe, often fatal illness, with
a death rate of up to 90%. The illness affects humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas,
and chimpanzees).
Ebola first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks, one in a village near the Ebola River in
the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the other in a remote area of Sudan.
The origin of the virus is unknown but fruit bats (Pteropodidae) are considered the likely host of the
Ebola virus, based on available evidence.
2. How do people become infected with the virus?
In the current outbreak in West Africa, the majority of cases in humans have occurred as a result of
human‐to‐human transmission.
Infection occurs from direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with the blood, or
other bodily fluids or secretions (stool, urine, saliva, semen) of infected people. Infection can also
occur if broken skin or mucous membranes of a healthy person come into contact with
environments that have become contaminated with an Ebola patient’s infectious fluids such as
soiled clothing, bed linen, or used needles.
More than 100 health‐care workers have been exposed to the virus while caring for Ebola patients.
This happens because they may not have been wearing personal protection equipment or were not
properly applying infection prevention and control measures when caring for the patients. Healthcare
providers at all levels of the health system – hospitals, clinics, and health posts – should be
briefed on the nature of the disease and how it is transmitted, and strictly follow recommended
infection control precautions.
WHO does not advise families or communities to care for individuals who may present with
symptoms of Ebola virus disease in their homes. Rather, seek treatment in a hospital or treatment
centre staffed by doctors and nurses qualified and equipped to treat Ebola virus victims. If you do
choose to care for your loved one at home, WHO strongly advises you to notify your local public
health authority and receive appropriate training, equipment (gloves and personal protective

African Language Program at Harvard University