The Ebola virus destroys the same cells as those targeted by HIV, though the Ebola infection is more aggressive, wiping out the building blocks of the body’s immune system.
It has an incubation period which is the time from infection to when the first symptoms present themselves of between 2 and 21 days, increasing the risk of the highly-infectious illness spreading. As soon as a victim starts to suffer the sudden onset of the disease, the fever, crippling headache and muscle pain, they are already contagious.
Transmission from person to person:
Infected people typically don’t become contagious until they develop symptoms. Family members are often infected as they care for sick relatives or prepare the dead for burial.
Medical personnel can be infected if they don’t use protective gear, such as surgical masks and gloves. Medical centers in Africa are often so poor that they must reuse needles and syringes. Some of the worst Ebola epidemics have occurred because contaminated injection equipment wasn’t sterilized between uses.
There’s no evidence that Ebola virus or Marburg virus can be spread via insect bites.
Disseminated intravascular coagulation causes clots and hemorrhaging, with clots in the liver, spleen, brain and other internal organs.advertisement - story continues below
The virus pierces veins and capillaries, forcing the blood vessels to bleed into the surrounding tissue. A patient will suffer aches all over the body, chronic abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
The Ebola virus is transmitted through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of the infected, be it human and animal.
Once a human is infected, the disease can spread quickly within a community, with health workers and family members of victims at particular risk.
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