Ebola haemorrhagic fever
Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) is a viral haemorrhagic fever and one of the most virulent viral diseases known to humankind.
The Ebola virus was first identified in the western equatorial province of Sudan and in a nearby region of Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1976 after significant epidemics in Nzara, southern Sudan and Yambuku, northern Zaire.
There are five distinct species of the Ebola virus: Bundibugyo, Côte d’Ivoire, Reston, Sudan and Zaïre. Bundibugyo, Sudan and Zaïre species have been associated with large outbreaks of Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) in Africa causing death in 25-90% of all clinically ill cases, while Côte d’Ivoire and Reston have not.
The Ebola virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected persons. Transmission of the Ebola virus has also occurred by handling sick or dead infected wild animals (chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope, fruit bats). The predominant treatment is general supportive therapy.