The recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has been one of the significant stories of late 2014. Federal and state government efforts have focused on preventing Ebola from entering the United States, quarantining confirmed and potential Ebola patients, and educating the general public on the disease.
Ebola is an often-deadly virus that infects its victims with severe flu-like symptoms such as fevers, aches, vomiting, and diarrhea. The pathogen is spread via direct contact with body fluids of someone who is currently infected and already showing symptoms. These usually appear 8-10 days after exposure, but may not appear for up to 21 days. Therefore, a person who has avoided exposure to Ebola for more than three weeks, and who is not showing symptoms, is Ebola-free.
Currently no cure or vaccine for Ebola exists. Treatment of Ebola patients consists of replenishing lost fluids and providing blood transfusions.