The Ebola virus is rare and often deadly to those who contract it. There are five species of the virus, although only four are known to cause illness in humans. Contact with body fluids of people who have the illness or who have died from the virus is the primary method of transmission for this dangerous disease.
Scientists believe Ebola first developed in animals and was transmitted to humans. It is a virus in the ebolavirus and Filoviridae family, and how exactly it transmits from animals to humans is unknown. In certain parts of the world, people have contracted Ebola from handling ill or deceased animals. In people, the virus becomes contagious as soon as symptoms present.
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