Ebola is a disease of humans and other primates caused by Ebola viruses. There are various strains of Ebola and the current strain of Ebola has been the most widespread ever. The survival rate of people infected with Ebola is about 50%. The outbreak is ongoing in the West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. A total of 9,693 suspected cases resulting in the deaths of 4,811 have been reported so far. Nigeria had a few cases but has successfully contained its spread. There were a few cases reported in the US and Spain which have caused strict measures to be imposed on travelers and health workers returning from the affected countries in West Africa.
Signs and symptoms typically start between two days and three weeks after contracting the virus, with a fever, sore throat, muscle pain and headaches. Vomiting and diarrhea usually follows, along with decreased function of the liver and kidneys.
The virus is transmitted by contact with blood or other body fluids of an infected person or other animal. No specific treatment for the disease is available yet but several are in trial. Efforts are under way to develop a vaccine.