Ebola - Who's at Risk?

By CNN News Wire

Published 07/31 2014 08:42AM

Updated 07/31 2014 08:46AM

Two American health care workers in Africa are struggling to survive the deadly Ebola virus after caring for patients stricken with the disease.  Do people in the U.S. need to worry about the virus harming us here? 

The deadly Ebola virus may only be a plane ride away, however us health officials say the risk to individuals here is low. 

"Even if we had a case introduced in the united states, the likelihood and probability of extensive spread is extremely small," says Marty Cetron with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Here's what you need to know about Ebola. 

There is no vaccine or cure for the virus. And though between 60 - 90% of those who catch it die, unlike the flu - which you can catch from a sneeze or a cough - Ebola does not spread easily. 

To get Ebola, you have to come into direct contact with a sick person's body fluids such as blood or vomit.  That's why the spread is usually limited to health care workers or family members who have physical contact with the sick person.

The incubation period for someone who has been exposed is between 2 - 21 days. People are not contagious during this time - only after symptoms appear. 

Symptoms may include fever, diarrhea and vomiting. People traveling from West Africa who experience these conditions should contact their doctor. If someone does get sick in the United States, health experts stress the illness will likely be contained quickly. 

(Martha Shade for CNN's Health Minute)

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