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About Ebola

According to the Florida Department of Health, Ebola is a severe, often fatal disease that affects humans and some animals. It is caused by the Ebola virus.

Ebola virus is spread by directly touching an infected person or animal’s skin, blood or body fluids. It cannot be spread simply by being near someone who is infected. Researchers believe that most Ebola outbreaks start when an animal carrying the Ebola virus infects a person, who can then infect other people.

Since the virus can survive on surfaces for a short period of time, people can be infected by touching objects (like needles or bed sheets) that contain infected blood or body fluids. People only become contagious after they begin to have symptoms, such as fever. The severity of the disease varies, but more than 50% of patients with Ebola have died during past outbreaks.

Researchers do not fully understand why some people who become sick with Ebola recover while others do not.