Ebola Breaks Out Again in Uganda

Ebola Breaks Out Again in Uganda

8/2/12 Update:  Total of  30 Ebola cases in Uganda now including five from Kibaale prison.

The Ebola virus was first detected in 1976 in the central African nation of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The virus is named after a river in that country. There are five strains of Ebola viruses, all named after the areas where they were found: Zaire, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, Bundibugyo and Reston, according to the WHO.

via Ebola outbreak suspected among Uganda prisoners – CNN.com.

I’d forgotten that there was an Ebola strain named after Reston (yes that Reston… in Virginia).  Ebola has broken out in the U.S. three times according to the Centers for Disease Control in 1989, 1990 and 1996.  Each outbreak took place at a monkey quarantine facility and luckily there no fatalities.  As scary as Ebola is… the real fear is that it could mutate into a more contagious pathogen.

7/30/12 Update:  Ebola has now been confirmed in Kampala, the Ugandan capital.

Originally published 7/29/12:  No cure, contagious and we don’t know where it comes from…

There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola, and in Uganda, where in 2000 the disease killed 224 people and left hundreds more traumatized, it resurrects terrible memories.

Ebola, which manifests itself as a hemorrhagic fever, is highly infectious and kills quickly. It was first reported in 1976 in Congo and is named for the river where it was recognized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Scientists don’t know the natural reservoir of the virus, but they suspect the first victim in an Ebola outbreak gets infected through contact with an infected animal, such as a monkey.

The virus can be transmitted in several ways, including through direct contact with the blood of an infected person. During communal funerals, for example, when the bereaved come into contact with an Ebola victim, the virus can be contracted, officials said, warning against unnecessary contact with suspected cases of Ebola.

via Ebola virus breaks out in Uganda, officials say | Fox News.

To learn more about Ebola visit the Center For Disease Control’s Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever page.

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