Understanding Ebola – A Brief Overview


Ebola pic

Image: pih.org

Gayle Rebovich, MD, provided medical support during the recent Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone by serving as part of the Ebola Treatment Unit in Port Loko. Currently, Gayle Rebovich, MD, offers neurological care as director of the University Medical Group and Roger Williams Medical Center Stroke Program.

Ebola is a relatively recent illness, first documented in the mid-1970s, when the disease spurred outbreaks in Africa. One such outbreak occurred close to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ebola River. Since then, the disease has reappeared periodically, causing the severe 2014 outbreak in West Africa that claimed the lives of thousands.

When people acquire the Ebola virus, they may experience initial flu-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, vomiting, and reduced appetite. However, symptoms can escalate into serious problems like uncontrolled bleeding. In many cases, these symptoms lead to death.

Because the virus is highly contagious, patients suspected of having Ebola ought to be isolated from healthy individuals to stop the spread of the disease. Transmission of Ebola occurs when people come into contact with the bodily fluids of infected patients.


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