The current Ebola virus outbreak spreading across West Africa is the biggest that has ever been recorded, having killed more than 670 people at the time of writing.
It has led to a major international response focussed on the main affected countries: Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
But the aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has described disease as “out of control”, and last week fears grew of a global outbreak after a case was confirmed in Lagos, Nigeria.
The disease first emerged in 1976, and has since then killed an estimated 2,000 people. Previous outbreaks have had mortality rates as high as 90 per cent, though the chance of dying from the most recent strand appears to be at around 60 per cent.
Doctors around the world, including now in the UK, have been urged to look out for patients exhibiting the early symptoms of the virus, which include fever, headaches, joint and muscle pain and lack of appetite.
Later symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, a rash and both internal and external bleeding – often from the eyes, nose or mouth.
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Re-blogged from www.independent.co.uk