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Did you Know – Ebola

In Sierra Leone the last Ebola patient in their country has now been treated and so they enter the waiting period to be cleared of the disease. The country must go without a reinfection for over 40 days to qualify for the Ebola free status but with their bordering country of Guinea reporting multiple infections a week how easy is it to transmit?

Ebola was first discovered way before the current endemic back in 1972 and was named after what researchers thought was the nearest river. This was in fact incorrect and the name Ebola is a misnomer because of this.

The first blood sample to be found to contain this disease came from a nun in a remote village in Zaire. Researchers initially thought that the woman had come down with Yellow Fever but the scientist in charge of the operation soon found out that this was not the case.

The professor in charge, Peter Piot, quickly realised that the discovery of Ebola could wreak havoc on the population. He said that he feared a huge loss of life and tragedy because of this disease.

The way in which scientists deal with research into the bacteria has changed a lot since then because if the high level of risk of infection. Professor Piot recalled that the blood sample was delivered in a thermos and scientists handled it without protective suits, a far cry from the images that we see today.

The virus has an incubation period of 21 days and the time to declare a country Ebola free is double that, to err on the side of caution. Although Sierra Leone is inching closer to this status Ebola is still very much rampant on other parts of the continent with more people infected every day.

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