Updated: 08/02/2014 8:13 PM
Created: 08/02/2014 8:11 PM WDIO.com
Three West Africa nations are struggling to control an outbreak of Ebola. The virus was first discovered nearly four decades ago in Congo in a village near the Ebola River. Since then there have been sporadic outbreaks.
Five things to know about Ebola and how it is spread:
1. WEST AFRICA OUTBREAK NOW LARGEST IN HISTORY. The current outbreak in the neighboring countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone has sickened more than 1,300 people and killed more than 700 since March. The outbreak is unusual for West Africa as the disease is typically found in the center and east of the continent.
2. SOME PEOPLE HAVE SURVIVED EBOLA. While the fatality rate for Ebola can be as high as 90 percent, health officials in the three countries say people have recovered from the virus and the current death rate is about 60 percent. Those who fared best sought immediate medical attention and got supportive care to prevent dehydration even though there is no specific treatment for Ebola itself.
3. EBOLA CAN LOOK LIKE OTHER DISEASES. The early symptoms of an Ebola infection include fever, headache, muscle aches and sore throat. It can be difficult to distinguish between Ebola and malaria, typhoid fever or cholera. Only in later stages do people with Ebola begin bleeding both internally and externally, often through the nose and ears.
4. EBOLA IS ONLY SPREAD THROUGH CLOSE CONTACT. The Ebola virus is not airborne, so people would have to come into direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. These include blood, sweat, vomit, feces, urine, saliva or semen - making transmission through casual contact in a public setting unlikely.
5. FEAR AND MISINFORMATION. In the three countries, health workers and clinics have come under attack from panicked residents who mistakenly blame foreign doctors and nurses for bringing the virus to remote communities. Family members also have removed sick Ebola patients from hospitals. Government officials have stepped up efforts to isolate patients, educate the public, check travelers and tighten borders to prevent the disease's spread.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Citizens' Forum Discusses Recreation, Conservation of St. Louis River
A citizens' forum at the Evergreen Senior Center Monday night offered many the chance to more about the restoration efforts along the St. Louis River western waterfront shoreline.
Experts Give Advice on Lightning Safety
In summer's stormy months, lighting strikes are a threat in the Northland, June and July in particular. Experts say in the wake the three lighting strikes in the Northland, now is the time to make sure people are taking steps to protect themselves.
Moose Lake School to Hold Groundbreaking on Saturday
The Moose Lake superintendent said a groundbreaking for the city's new $34.7 million school will take place Saturday.
Colorado Homicide Suspects Arrested in Cass County
A man and woman accused of causing the death of their four-week-old infant in northwestern Colorado were arrested in Cass County on Monday. Their baby daughter was found not breathing in an apartment on June 20.
Duluth Lightning Strike Victim's Condition Improves
A 12-year-old boy's condition is improving after he was struck by lightning on Duluth's Enger Golf Course. Nathan Burke was initially reported to be in critical condition after the lighting strike on Sunday afternoon, but Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center said his condition had improved to fair by Monday afternoon.