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FACTBOX-Ebola strikes in Uganda

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Mon, 30 Jul 2012 04:10 PM
Author: Reuters
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July 30 (Reuters) - Uganda has confirmed an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, saying 14 people have died so far. Here are some facts about Ebola and recent major outbreaks.

* Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) is a severe, usually fatal disease in humans and non-human primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees) that has appeared sporadically since it was first identified in 1976. The Ebola virus is named after a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa, where it first surfaced.

* There are five known subtypes of the Ebola virus. Four of the five have caused disease in humans: Ebola-Zaire, Ebola-Sudan, Ebola-Ivory Coast and Ebola-Bundibugyo. The fifth, Ebola-Reston, has caused disease in non human primates.

* Ebola is often characterised by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, a headache and a sore throat. This is often followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, a rash, impaired kidney and liver functioning and, in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. The fever has an incubation period of two to 21 days.

There is no specific treatment or vaccine available.

* The Ebola virus is transmitted by contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people. Health care workers have frequently been infected while treating Ebola patients.

* The last major outbreak was in 2007-2008 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It killed 187 of 264 people infected and occurred in the Kasai Occidental Province. A separate outbreak occurred in the Bundibugyo District in western Uganda - it was the first reported occurrence of the new strain Ebola-Bundibugyo with 131 cases and 42 deaths.

Sources: Reuters/ U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ World Health Organisation.

(Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit) (Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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