KAMPALA, Uganda — The deadly Ebola virus has killed 14 people in western Uganda this month, Ugandan health officials said on Saturday, ending weeks of speculation about the cause of a strange disease that had many people fleeing their homes.
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Disease identified in 1976
•Ebola, which manifests itself as a hemorrhagic fever, is highly infectious and kills quickly. There is no cure or vaccine.
•It was first reported in 1976 in Congo and is named for the river where it was recognized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
•A CDC factsheet on Ebola says the disease is “characterized by fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. A rash, red eyes, hiccups and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients.”
•The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person, or objects that have been contaminated with infected secretions. During communal funerals, for example, when the bereaved come into contact with an Ebola victim, the virus can be contracted, officials said, warning against unnecessary contact with suspected cases of Ebola.