Ebola Outbreak Updates: Virus Caused by New Strain, a Look Inside an Isolation Ward, and How the Virus Spreads

Thursday, April 17, 2014
By Paul Martin

Lily Dane
The Daily Sheeple
April 17th, 2014

The Ebola virus that has killed more than 120 people so far this year in West Africa is a new strain, scientists say.

This is evidence that the disease did not spread from outbreaks in other regions of the country.

Dr. Stephan Gunther of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, Germany, and his international team of researchers studied the genetics of the virus. Their findings were reported online Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The researchers said the novel strain probably evolved locally and circulated for months before being recognized.

The suspected first case of this outbreak was a 2-year-old child who died on December 6, 2013.

Ebola virus carries a fatality rate of 30 to 90%, depending on the strain. This particular outbreak caused death in 86% of confirmed cases (12 out of 14 patients died).

Here are some key findings from the study:

The epidemiologic links between the cases suggest a single introduction of the virus into the human population, which seems to have occurred in early December 2013 or perhaps before.
The assumed animal source of the outbreak has not yet been identified (but is possibly fruit bats).
The length of exposure appears to have allowed many transmission chains, which led to an increased number of cases.
Initial cases presented with fever, vomiting, and severe diarrhea. Hemorrhage, a common symptom of Ebola viruses that can help with early diagnosis, was not documented in early cases (although it may have developed later in those patients).
The case fatality rate was 86% among the early confirmed cases and 71% among clinically suspected cases, which is consistent with the case fatality rates observed in previous Ebola virus disease outbreaks.

The Rest…HERE

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