Ebola virus affects mammals, including humans
The virus may be acquired upon contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected animal
Fruit bats considered the most likely natural reservoir are believed to carry and spread the virus without being affected.
Once human infection occurs, the disease may spread between people as well.
Due to lack of proper equipment and hygienic practices, large-scale epidemics have occurred mostly in poor, isolated areas without modern hospitals or well-educated medical staff.
Prevention includes decreasing the spread of disease from infected monkeys and pigs to humans
There is no specific treatment for the disease; Efforts are ongoing to develop a vaccine; however, none yet exists
Signs and symptoms of Ebola usually begin suddenly with a flu-like stage characterized by fatigue, fever, headaches, and joint, muscle, and abdominal pain.
Efforts to help persons who are infected include giving either oral rehydration therapy (slightly sweet and salty water to drink) or intravenous fluids.