The Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a fatal condition that has caused thousands of deaths across the globe. It affects people and non-human primates, such as chimpanzees, monkeys and gorillas.
Learn more about the deadly disease with these 10 surprising facts about Ebola virus.
- Scientists have yet to confirm where the virus comes from, but they suspect that it’s animal-borne. Bats and non-human primates are the most likely source.
- The Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 but it has existed for over 10,000 years.
- EVD isn’t as contagious as many people believe. The virus only survives about 30 seconds outside of a bodily fluid, so infection rates are lower than other diseases.
- To date, there is still no approved drug for treating EVD, although several vaccines are already undergoing clinical trials.
- The West African Ebola virus that lasted from 2013 to 2016 has caused over 11,300 fatalities.
- The West African Ebola virus outbreak ended in 13 January, 2016. The World Health Organization declared Liberia, the last country affected, to be Ebola-free then.
- EVD is transmitted through the body fluids of a person who has contracted the virus. The virus can still survive in the semen for up to 9 months even when the patient has recovered.
- The bodily fluids of someone who died from EVD can still transmit the virus to living person. Yes, you can catch Ebola from a dead body.
- The early symptoms of EVD is similar to other illnesses, making it difficult to diagnose.
- There are five species of Ebola virus, with the Zaire strain being the most fatal. It caused the largest outbreak in history, which is the one in West Africa.
Do you have any interesting facts about Ebola that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!