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Image SP4493 (Ebola Virus, Molecular Model)Molecular model showing the structure of an ebola virus. It consists of a ribonucleic acid (RNA) genome (orange) within a protein nucleocapsid (white blobs), which is surrounded by a glycoprotein envelope (smooth white). This virus is the cause of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in humans and non-human primates. It is a severe and often fatal disease with symptoms including fever, fatigue, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea and hemorrhaging (internal bleeding). There is no cure for the disease, but three quarters of patients can recover of provided with sufficient medical support.
The Ministry of Health of Guinea has notified the WHO (World Health Organization) of a rapidly evolving outbreak of Ebola virus disease in forested areas of south-eastern Guinea. In humans, Ebola has a fatality rate of up to 90%. A total of 122 patients are suspected of contracting the virus and 78 have died so far. In the absence of any effective treatment, WHO seeks to raise awareness of the risk factors for infection and the protective measures that individuals can take in order to reduce human infection and death. WHO has brought in 3.5 tons of protective material to Guinea to support the Ministry of Health’s response to this alarming outbreak.