Sign In Site Map. Ebola Channel. An infection with the Ebola virus is what causes Ebola. The exact origin, locations, and natural habitat of the virus remain unknown; however, researchers believe that the virus lives in an animal host in Africa. It is not known exactly how an outbreak of Ebola occurs. Researchers theorize that the first person to develop Ebola in an outbreak becomes infected with the virus through contact with an infected animal.

Transmission among humans occurs through direct contact with infected people or their blood or other body fluids. Click Causes of Ebola for more details about the Ebola virus and how it causes disease, including information about the incubation period.

Last reviewed by: Arthur SchoenstadtMD. Ebola Fever. What Causes Ebola? The Ebola Virus. Ebola Outbreaks. Transmission of Ebola. Ebola Incubation Period. Signs and Symptoms of Ebola. Ebola Diagnosis. Treatments for Ebola. Ebola Prevention. Is There a Cure for Ebola? Ebola Vaccine. Pictures of People With Ebola. Ebola Research.

causes of ebola

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Origins of the 2014 Ebola epidemic

Send using Facebook Share on Facebook. Separate multiple addresses with a comma or semicolon.Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after contact with the virus, with an average of 8 to 10 days.

Many common illnesses can have the same symptoms as EVD, including influenza flumalaria, or typhoid fever. EVD is a rare but severe and often deadly disease.

Studies show that survivors of Ebola virus infection have antibodies proteins made by the immune system that identify and neutralize invading viruses that can be detected in the blood up to 10 years after recovery. Survivors are thought to have some protective immunity to the type of Ebola that sickened them. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link.

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Ebola Ebola Virus Disease. Section Navigation. Signs and Symptoms. Minus Related Pages. Primary signs and symptoms of Ebola often include some or several of the following: Fever Aches and pains, such as severe headache, muscle and joint pain, and abdominal stomach pain Weakness and fatigue Gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhea and vomiting Abdominal stomach pain Unexplained hemorrhaging, bleeding or bruising Other symptoms may include red eyes, skin rash, and hiccups late stage.

Related Resources. Transmission Prevention Diagnosis Treatment. Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website. Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website. You will be subject to the destination website's privacy policy when you follow the link. CDC is not responsible for Section compliance accessibility on other federal or private website.

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Cancel Continue.Ebola virus disease EVD is a deadly disease with occasional outbreaks that occur primarily on the African continent. EVD most commonly affects people and nonhuman primates such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees.

Reston virus is known to cause disease in nonhuman primates and pigs, but not in people. It is unknown if Bombali virus, which was recently identified in bats, causes disease in either animals or people. Ebola virus was first discovered in near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. Scientists do not know where Ebola virus comes from. However, based on the nature of similar viruses, they believe the virus is animal-borne, with bats or nonhuman primates with bats or nonhuman primates chimpanzees, apes, monkeys, etc.

Infected animals carrying the virus can transmit it to other animals, like apes, monkeys, duikers and humans. The virus spreads to people initially through direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of animals.

Ebola virus then spreads to other people through direct contact with body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from EVD. This can occur when a person touches these infected body fluids or objects that are contaminated with themand the virus gets in through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, or mouth.

The virus can persist in certain body fluids, like semen, after recovery from the illness. Ebola survivors may experience side effects after their recovery, such as tiredness, muscle aches, eye and vision problems and stomach pain. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link.

Ebola Ebola Virus Disease. Section Navigation. What is Ebola Virus Disease? Minus Related Pages. Ebola Virus Ecology and Transmission. Related Resources.Ebolain full Ebola virus diseaseformerly called Ebola hemorrhagic fevercontagious disease caused by a virus of the family Filoviridae that is responsible for a severe and often fatal viral hemorrhagic fever.

Outbreaks in primates —including gorillaschimpanzeesand humans—and domestic pigs have been recorded. The disease is characterized by extreme feverrash, and profuse hemorrhaging. In humansebolaviruses cause fatality in 25 to 90 percent of cases. Ebolaviruses take their name from the Ebola River in the northern Congo basin of central Africawhere they first emerged in Ebolaviruses are closely related to species in the genus Marburgviruswhich was discovered inand the two are the only members of the Filoviridae that cause epidemic human disease.

Causes of Ebola

RESTV, which was originally discovered in laboratory monkeys in RestonVirginiainwas also detected in laboratory monkeys in other locations in the United States in andas well as in SienaItalyin All the monkeys infected with RESTV have been traced to one export facility located in the Philippinesalthough the origin of the strain has not been identified. The fifth species, BDBV, was discovered in November in an outbreak in Bundibugyo district of Ugandanear the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo; it causes death in roughly 25 to 35 percent of cases.

The first outbreaks, in in Zaire now the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan including what is now South Sudanresulted in more than deaths. A subsequent outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in May prompted temporary quarantine of the Kikwit region, and more than people died. Later outbreaks in Uganda in and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in also resulted in several hundred deaths.

Other notable outbreaks include those in Yambio county of South Sudan and in the Bundibugyo and Kibale districts of Uganda. In September an outbreak was confirmed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo —in Kasai-Occidental West Kasai province, located in the south-central region of the country. However, while Ebola was detected in blood samples from some people that fell ill, other people were found to be infected with Shigellathe bacterium that causes dysentery —a disease whose symptoms are similar to the early symptoms of Ebola.

As a result, although several hundred people became ill and more than people died during the Ebola outbreak, it was unclear how many of the deaths were actually caused by Ebola. Less than two years later, in Decembera second outbreak of the disease was confirmed in West Kasai.

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Ebola had been detected in just four people by early However, another 42 cases were suspected, and some people were under close observation for infection. Although 13 deaths were reported in association with the outbreak, samples collected from the victims did not test positive for Ebola.

Intissue samples from pigs that died of unknown causes in the Philippines were analyzed and found to contain RESTV. This was the first time that the virus was found in a mammalian species other than primates.

Ebola Virus [Hot Topic]

Infections in pigs were unexpected and raised concerns about transmission of the virus from pigs to humans. In Januaryantibodies to RESTV were found in five Filipinos, four of whom worked on pig farms and one of whom worked in a slaughterhouse.

All five individuals were believed to have been infected with the virus through direct contact with infected pigs. The infected people were healthy and did not show signs of infection at the time antibodies to the virus were detected. In order to stop the spread of RESTV among pigs, Philippines officials authorized the slaughter of thousands of potentially infected swine. A large outbreak occurred in western Africa in —16, affecting people primarily in GuineaSierra Leoneand Liberia see Ebola outbreak of — More than 28, cases and 11, deaths had been documented by January Death figures likely were underreported, however.

Estimates of the case fatality rate for the outbreak ranged from about 50 to 70 percent. Though outbreaks were normally brought under control effectively through existing prevention and treatment strategies, the outbreak that was detected in was complicated by a limited health workforce and particularly by misperceptions of the disease among some people living in affected regions.

As the outbreak progressed, the possibility for dissemination of Ebola to countries outside western Africa rose. On August 8, following a sudden increase in cases that severely compromised aid efforts, the director general of the World Health OrganizationMargaret Chanannounced the decision to declare the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

Shortly thereafter Ebola emerged in the United States, in a man who had traveled by plane from Liberia to DallasTexas, where he subsequently developed symptoms of illness and died; it was the first case connected with the outbreak to be diagnosed outside of Africa. Earlier in the outbreak a case had been confirmed in Senegal, and 20 cases were recorded in Nigeria. The rapid implementation of effective control measures, however, put an end to the outbreak in those countries.

causes of ebola

A small number of cases were documented in Mali in October and November; two of them had originated in Guinea. Cases continued to be reported in among people who were living or working within the geographical region where the outbreak had originated.

However, in Liberia and Sierra Leone, the number of new cases began to decline steeply.Ebola virus disease EVD is a rare and often-fatal infection caused by one of the five strains of the Ebola virus. Since then, there have been sporadic outbreaks in Africa. One of the largest Ebola outbreaks began in March and, as of March 20,there have been 28, reported Ebola cases from this outbreak, according to the CDC.

Of these cases, 15, have been confirmed by laboratory testing. The total number of deaths from Ebola is 11, More recently, a new Ebola flare-up occurred in Guinea in earlywith confirmed Ebola cases as of March 22, The Ebola virus may have initially been transmitted to humans from bats. Derek Gatherer, a bioinformatics researcher at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, told Live Science that there is a strong circumstantial case that says infection by bats is likely, but scientists haven't actually found strong evidence to support that hypothesis.

Though WHO agrees that bats may be carriers of Ebola, the organization says that Ebola was introduced into the human population through the secretions, blood, organs or other bodily fluids of many different infected animals.

Other than bats, some of these animals include monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas, forest antelope and porcupines. Some experts think that the quick spread of this virus from Central to West Africa may be due to bats' travel patterns across Africa.

Ebola virus disease

Researchers have said that Ebola may have continued to spread within West Africa once it arrived because the outbreak is happening in an underdeveloped area of the world that is unprepared to deal with it. Out of those people, only 20 percent of the patients survived. The virus infected people in Sudan. Out of these, 53 percent of the infected patients died, according to the CDC.

On Oct. A second health care worker tested positive for Ebola on Oct. Ebola is a virus in the family Filoviridae and the genus Ebolavirus. The fifth species, Reston virus Reston ebolavirushas not caused disease in humans but has affected nonhuman primates. In general, to survive, viruses must find a host cell and take it over. The virus also replicates itself so that it can be spread to other host cells.

In response to a virus, the human body produces antibodies. The problem with Ebola is that the virus spreads so rapidly that it can easily overcome the body's immune response," said Jonathan Lai, associate professor of biochemistry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. On average, however, symptoms appear within eight to 10 days, the CDC says.The Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated. The latter occurred in a village near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

The — outbreak in West Africa was the largest Ebola outbreak since the virus was first discovered in The outbreak started in Guinea and then moved across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia. The current outbreak in eastern DRC is highly complex, with insecurity adversely affecting public health response activities. The virus family Filoviridae includes three genera: Cuevavirus, Marburgvirus, and Ebolavirus. The virus causing the current outbreak in DRC and the — West African outbreak belongs to the Zaire ebolavirus species.

It is thought that fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as fruit bats, chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope or porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest. Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with:.

Health-care workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or confirmed EVD. This occurs through close contact with patients when infection control precautions are not strictly practiced. Burial ceremonies that involve direct contact with the body of the deceased can also contribute in the transmission of Ebola. Pregnant women who get acute Ebola and recover from the disease may still carry the virus in breastmilk, or in pregnancy related fluids and tissues.

This poses a risk of transmission to the baby they carry, and to others. Women who become pregnant after surviving Ebola disease are not at risk of carrying the virus.

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If a breastfeeding woman who is recovering from Ebola wishes to continue breastfeeding, she should be supported to do so. Her breast milk needs to be tested for Ebola before she can start. The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms, is from 2 to 21 days.

A person infected with Ebola cannot spread the disease until they develop symptoms. It can be difficult to clinically distinguish EVD from other infectious diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever and meningitis.

Many symptoms of pregnancy and Ebola disease are also quite similar. Because of risks to the pregnancy, pregnant women should ideally be tested rapidly if Ebola is suspected. Confirmation that symptoms are caused by Ebola virus infection are made using the following diagnostic methods:.

Careful consideration should be given to the selection of diagnostic tests, which take into account technical specifications, disease incidence and prevalence, and social and medical implications of test results. It is strongly recommended that diagnostic tests, which have undergone an independent and international evaluation, be considered for use. Samples collected from patients are an extreme biohazard risk; laboratory testing on non-inactivated samples should be conducted under maximum biological containment conditions.

All biological specimens should be packaged using the triple packaging system when transported nationally and internationally.A "mysterious" disease began silently spreading in a small village in Guinea on 26 December but was not identified as Ebola until 21 March The boy developed an illness characterized by fever, black stools, and vomiting on 26 December and died two days later.

The exact source of his infection has not been identified but likely involved contact with wild animals. The remote and sparsely populated village of Meliandou, with only 31 households, is located in Gueckedou District in what is known as the Forest Region. Much of the surrounding forest area has, however, been destroyed by foreign mining and timber operations. Prior to symptom onset, the child was seen playing in his backyard near a hollow tree heavily infested with bats.

The same was true for several midwives, traditional healers, and staff at a hospital in the city of Gueckedou who treated them. By then, the virus had spread to four sub-districts via additional transmission chains. A pattern of unprotected exposure, more cases and deaths, more funerals, and further spread had been established.

causes of ebola

The first alert was raised on 24 January, when the head of the Meliandou health post informed district health officials of five cases of severe diarrhoea with a rapidly fatal outcome. That alert prompted an investigation the next day in Meliandou by a small team of local health officials. However, no firm conclusions could be reached. Microscopic examination of patient samples showed bacteria, again supporting the conclusion that the unknown disease was likely cholera.

He died four days later at a hospital where, as doctors had no reason to suspect Ebola, no measures were taken to protect staff and other patients. As the month progressed, cases spread to the prefectures of Macenta, Baladou, Nzerekore, and Farako as well as to several villages and cities along the routes to these destinations.

The Ministry of Health issued its first alert to the unidentified disease on 13 March That investigation found epidemiological links among outbreaks previously not known to be connected and identified Gueckedou City as the epicentre for transmission of a disease that still had no known cause. On 21 March, the Institut Pasteur in Lyon, France, a WHO Collaborating Centre, confirmed that the causative agent was a filovirus, narrowing the diagnosis down to either Ebola virus disease or Marburg haemorrhagic fever.

The next day, the laboratory confirmed that the causative agent was the Zaire species, the most lethal virus in the Ebola family. When WHO publicly announced the outbreak on its website on 23 March, 49 cases and 29 deaths were officially reported. Introduction 2. Origins of the Ebola epidemic 3. Factors that contributed to undetected spread 4. Guinea: The virus shows its tenacity 5. Liberia: A country and its capital are overwhelmed 6. Sierra Leone: A slow start to an outbreak that eventually outpaced all others 7.

Key events in the WHO response 8.

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