Ebola virus is a virus that appears periodically in populations mostly in Central and Western Africa. It’s thought that fruit bats and apes are hosts for the virus. Occasionally, the Ebola virus jumps from animal populations into humans and causes epidemics.
The Ebola virus can be passed from one person to the next if somebody has had close contact with an Ebola patient, including contact with their blood or bodily fluids, or if they’ve handled the body after the patient has died without wearing gloves or other personal protective equipment.
There have been a number of Ebola epidemics over the years, but the epidemic that began in March, 2014 in Western Africa has been the largest and most sustained to date. It’s also been associated with the largest number of deaths from Ebola virus that has ever occurred.
Daniel Kuritzkes, MD, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital describes lessons learned from the most recent Ebola epidemic and what measures Brigham and Women’s Hospital has developed to quickly identify, isolate and care for patients with Ebola virus and other infectious diseases while protecting the safety of hospital staff and other patients.
- Ebola Preparedness at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
- Five Reasons to Get Your Flu Shot
- Vaccinations – Not Just for Kids, Adults Need Them Too!