Latest Ebola News: Africa to raise funds to fight Ebola

To fight Ebola, top business leaders in Africa have set up an emergency fund to assist countries hit by the Ebola outbreak, a media report said Saturday. The initiative is part of a long-term programme to deal with such crisis in the future, BBC quoted African Union Chairman Dlamini Zuma as saying at a pledging meeting held in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.

To speedily contain the deadly virus that has killed about 5,000 people, the focus will be on Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The initiative has raised $28.5 million to deploy at least 1,000 health workers in these countries. Strive Masiyiwa, chairman of telecommunications giant Econet Wireless, said the emergency fund will be managed by the African Development Bank. Of the West African countries hit by the 11-month outbreak, Liberia has seen the most deaths.
But last weekend its health ministry said two-thirds of the 696 beds in the country's treatment centres were empty. Despite significant international contributions, the chief of the UN mission charged with fighting Ebola has said that more help is urgently needed.

Here are some Ebola facts frequently asked questions (FAQ)

  1. How is the Ebola virus disease caused?

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a contagious disease caused by infection with one of the four strains of the Ebola virus. The Ebola virus belongs to the family of Filoviridaeand the viral strains with potential for infection in humans areZaire, Bundibugyo, Tai Forest and Sudan virus. (Read: Ebola virus causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and prevention)

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  1. How does it spread?

The Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with the body fluids (semen, sweat, saliva and blood), infected objects (needles) and close skin contact with an infected person. It can also be transmitted through close contact with infected animals (handling the meat) and consumption of uncooked meat. (Read:10 reasons that make the Ebola virus deadly for humans)

  1. What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of Ebola virus usually appear between 2 to 21 days after being infected with the virus. The early symptoms include high fever (greater than 38.6 C), headache, drop in blood pressure and stomach pain. Whereas late signs of Ebola infections which indicate medical emergency are sore throat, jaundice, skin rashes, bleeding and loss of appetite. Read more about Ebola facts frequently asked questions (FAQ)

With inputs from IANS

Image source: Getty Inages

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