Another outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus has struck west Africa.
The current outbreak is due to the Zaire Ebola strain that kills those infected 80 to 90% of the time. The disease is believed to originate in bats.
Pierre Rollin with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the disease has never been seen in the Americas so there is little chance it makes its way to the U.S., "Now you can still have someone who is visiting this area, get infected. During the incubation time get on a plane and arrive in another country."
This strain of the disease has a 7 to 10-day incubation period so the chances of the disease spreading, while remote, do exist. Zaire Ebola causes symptoms very common to other diseases widely seen in the area. Headache, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, all very similar to diseases like malaria or dysentery.
Rollin says the latest numbers show dozens have been killed, "The latest report that we have is, 103 suspected cases and among them there is 66 deaths." Rollin says those numbers are not completely accurate since lab testing is required to confirm the disease. So far there have been 15 confirmed Zaire Ebola deaths.
The disease is spread by direct human contact with body fluids like saliva, sweat, blood, urine, and stool. Which is why most of the cases have been direct family members trying to treat those who were sick. Rollin says there are easy ways to prevent the spread of the disease, "We don't have a treatment, we don't have a vaccine. The virus could be destroyed by a lot of things like soap, bleach, and detergent."