Ebola virus disease (EVD) (also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) or simply Ebola) is a viral hemorrhagic disease caused by the Ebola Filovirus. Ebola is an extremely virulent virus with case fatality rates of approximately 70% 1.
First recognized in 1967 after polio vaccine laboratory workers were exposed to infected primates brought to Europe from Africa. The first outbreak occurred in 1976 in Zaire (since 1997 the Democratic Republic of the Cοngo), killing 318 people. The most recent outbreak which started in March 2014 has involved multiple countries, spanning three continents and represents the largest known outbreak in history with 13,606 cases to date (November 2014).
The initial clinical syndrome is non-specific and features flu-like symptoms such as fever, myalgia, and general malaise. This is followed by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and rashes progressing to petechiae, conjunctival hemorrhage, epistaxis, melena, hematemesis, shock and encephalopathy 3.
The incubation period of the virus is 2-21 days.
It occurs by coming in direct contact with infected fluid like blood, breast milk, semen, saliva, sweat, feces, and vomit, through broken skin, mucous membranes or contaminated medical equipment.
There is currently no data on specific imaging features of Ebola. However, necropsy studies on non-human primates suggest that aerosolized virus would be unlikely to produce discrete, radiographically visible, pulmonary lesions 2.
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- 3. Ansari AA. Clinical features and pathobiology of Ebolavirus infection. J. Autoimmun. 2014; . doi:10.1016/j.jaut.2014.09.001 - Pubmed citation
- 4. Center for Disease Control and Prevention Outbreaks Chronology: Ebola Virus Disease