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Introduction

  • Stephan Gregory Bullard
Chapter

Abstract

Ebola is one of the most frightening diseases of the modern era. The Ebola virus was discovered in 1976 when two separate species of Ebola caused outbreaks in Zaire and Sudan. Since then, several additional Ebola species have been identified. Ebola is contagious, highly fatal, and incurable. Zaire ebolavirus is the most dangerous species in the group. It has a fatality rate of up to 90%. The initial symptoms of Ebola are non-specific. This makes it very difficult to clinically diagnose Ebola, especially in countries with numerous endemic diseases. Laboratory tests can identify Ebola, but standard RT-PCR tests can take several days to conduct. There is no specific treatment for Ebola. Supportive care is used to assist patients. Several potential drug candidates are available, but none has been approved for general use. Many survivors experience long-term effects from the disease. Some body fluids, especially the semen, can remain Ebola RNA-positive for years after a person has recovered. This book presents a day-by-day account of the 2013–2016 Zaire ebolavirus outbreak. It provides a detailed case study of one of the most significant disease events of the early twenty-first century.

Keywords

Ebola Ebola virus disease Epidemic Filoviridae Outbreak Zaire ebolavirus 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephan Gregory Bullard
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Hartford Hillyer CollegeWest HartfordUSA

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