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Is it Ebola or is it flu?

21 August 2014, 08:09Harry Phillips

Ebola is a highly deadly disease that kills up to 90% of those it infects, often within just days of symptoms beginning to show.

However, the initial symptoms of Ebola aren't all that uncommon. In fact, the disease's early stages mimic those of many other common diseases, including simple influenza. Fortunately, sufferers are only contagious in the later stages of the disease. 

This creates a problem as people begin to panic. Due to its ability to kill people in a quick, rather gruesome manner, Ebola is a disease that generates a lot of fear. As a result, outbreaks of the disease tend to bring about a large number of people fearing that they've been infected woth the disease, despite the fact that they've actually just got flu.

Also Read: Vietnam releases two Nigerians isolated for Ebola tests

This isn't just disconcerting for the person feeling unwell, it can also spread fear amongst their communities and put undue pressure on health services when they're already under strain from the outbreak.

Flu is very easy to pick up from people around you and is present across the globe and throughout the year, though it is more prevalent in winter. 

As symptoms begin to present themselves, they should be considered like any other illness. A fever is rarely anything to worry about, but if it's serious you should go to the hospital. Ebola is likely to hit you harder than a simple flu, so if you're struggling, get it checked out.

The more serious symptoms of Ebola, including the well-known haemorrhagic effects, only begin to show after several days, after which it is usually too late. Sufferers may begin to bleed from their orifices, though the internal bleeding is much more dangerous. About half of deaths occur from organ failure before they even reach this stage.   

- Health24


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