Ebola hemorrhagic fever, more commonly known as Ebola, is a viral infection that causes symptoms including high fever, unexplained bleeding or bruising, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and weakness, abdominal pain and severe headache. On average, these symptoms will appear 8 to 10 days after exposure to the virus, though according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), these symptoms can occur in as little as 2 days or as much as 21 days after exposure. Those who have reason to believe they have been exposed to the virus should be on the lookout for these symptoms, which are typically severe and may escalate, such as severe diarrhea that eventually becomes bloody.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that on average, the Ebola virus disease has a mortality rate of about 50 percent. The disease originates with animals, most typically primates, and it can be spread to human population through the consumption of meat or other exposure to the blood or other bodily fluids of infected animals. Human-to-human transmission occurs through exposure to bodily fluids such as saliva, urine, blood, vomit, breast milk, semen and feces. The virus can also be spread through the use of improperly disinfected needles that have been used on infected people. Typically, it is not spread through air or water.