The death toll up to yesterday from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa reached 932, with Liberia now the second country to officially declare a state of emergency due to the virus.
Two Americans who are infected with Ebola were flown this week from Liberia to a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, to receive treatment. BA has suspended flights on some West African routes as concern grows Ebola has spread to Nigeria.
According to international reports, The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes Ebola as “a severe acute viral illness”.
Early symptoms are similar to malaria and include the sudden onset of fever, in-tense weakness, muscle pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and internal and external bleeding.
There is no known cure or vaccine for the virus and the disease kills between 25 and 90 per cent of its victims. The only treatment doctors can offer is “supportive intensive care” such as rehydration of infected patients under strict quarantine.
Ebola is highly infectious. It can be transmitted through contact with the blood, bodily fluids and organs, including skin, of sufferers or through indirect contact with environments contaminated by the disease. The disease can also have a long incubation period, up to three weeks, which allows it to spread rapidly before diagnosis and quarantine can take place.