The Ebola virus is rare and often deadly to those who contract it. It can affect humans and primates such as monkeys and chimpanzees. There are five species of the Ebola virus, which people can contract by coming in contact with the bodily fluids of a person who has the virus or a person who has passed away from it.
Scientists believe Ebola was first present in animals and transmitted to humans. It is a virus in the ebolavirus and Filoviridae family, and the way in which it transmits from animals to humans is unknown. In certain parts of the world, people have contracted Ebola from handling animals that are ill or deceased. In people, the virus becomes contagious as soon as symptoms present.
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