Ebola Home > Background on Ebola

Ebola -- a highly contagious illness that is often fatal in humans -- was first recognized in 1976. It has occurred sporadically since then, with infections occurring in places like:
  • The Ivory Coast
  • Uganda
  • Sudan
  • The Republic of the Congo.
Ebola is caused by an infection with the Ebola virus, which can be transmitted by direct contact with an infected person or his or her body fluids (such as blood or secretions). Symptoms typically start abruptly and may include:
No cure exists for Ebola, so treatment typically involves providing supportive care to manage symptoms of the illness while the body fights the infection.
(Click Ebola for more background on this condition, including details on how the first Ebola infection probably occurred.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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