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Seven True Ebola Facts | Doctors Without Borders Combating Ebola in Africa

Facts Ebola in Africa

Since 1971 Doctors Without Borders or Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF helps people worldwide where the need is greatest, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from health care. As one of the Ebola epicentres, the district of Kailahun, in eastern Sierra Leone bordering Guinea, was put under quarantine at the beginning of August 2013.

Seven True Ebola Facts

“We are not sure that words can always save lives, but we know that silence can certainly kill." Dr. James Orbinski, then-President of the MSF International Council, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of MSF in 1999.

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Doctors without Borders in the Congo

1. Ebola got its name from the Ebola River in then Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Ebola River is a branch of the Congo River, which is the world’s deepest river. 

2. Ebola first appeared in June and July in 1976 in simultaneous outbreaks in Nzara, South Sudan, and Yambuku, Democratic Republic of the Congo located in Central Africa. 

3. Fruit bats aka Flying Foxes are considered to be the original host of the Ebola virus. 

4. The time from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days. 

5. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals. Ebola then spreads through human to human transmission through direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected persons and with surfaces and materials such as bedding and clothing contaminated with these fluids. 

6. There are currently no licensed Ebola vaccines but two potential candidates are undergoing evaluation. 

7. The case-fatality rate of Ebola varies from 25% to 90% depending on the strain.

A Global Coalition of Inaction on Ebola

Ebola was previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever and is a deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus species. Currently there are 5 Ebola virus species and four are known to cause the Ebola disease in human beings. The four Ebola virus species are Ebola virus, Sudan virus, Taï Forest virus, and the Bundibugyo virus. 

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