The Ebola disease derives its name after a small river, the Ebola River, flowing through the former Zaire (present day DR Congo) and was formally named in 1976. The disease belongs to the category of diseases referred to as “haemorrhagic fever”; the causal agent – a filovirus (from Latin “filo” = thread) belonging to the Filoviridae family. The treatment of Ebola has been only symptomatic, i.e. based on mitigation of the symptoms related to the infection, such as kidneys and liver. An effective vaccine has not been developed yet, even though rigorous attempts have been made and reported. Ebola has been primarily found in the Ivory Coast, DR Congo, Sudan, Gabon and other equatorial African countries. Based on the data obtained during the latest epidemics, people are strongly advised to avoid direct contact with patients, avoid buying bush meat in street markets and not handle dead bats, megabats, monkeys or gorillas. Estimated data suggest that more than 5,000 of these animals have died. The disease was also diagnosed in patients in the USA and Europe. The epidemic afflicted West Africa and had significant implication on their economy in terms of lost production, higher fiscal deficits, rising prices and lower real household incomes, leading to greater poverty.

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Life Sciences, Plant Science