Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Ebola Fever

Infectious hemorrhagic fever of retroviral origin. Several laboratory workers in Germany were killed in 1967 by the Marburg disease, a virus possibly hosted in Ugandan green monkeys. A similar outbreak of the closely related rodlike Ebola virus occurred in the Sudan and Zaire in 1976 and killed 50% and 90% of those infected, respectively (a total of 452 people). Next to HIV, Ebola is considered to be the second most lethal virus in the world. There is no treatment, and death comes much more rapidly than with AIDS. In November 1989, 200 cymologous macaques, en route from the Philippines to a research center in Virginia, died from a similar rodlike virus; four humans were eventually infected. This latter virus, although genetically similar to the Ebola virus, did not appear to be as fatal to humans as it was to these monkeys. The Ebola is a river in Zaire. Transmission is nosocomial. Aka Ebola-Marburg virus disease.

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