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August 1, 2012

Health & Family

Perhaps 1,850 people have been diagnosed with Ebola hemorrhagic fever since the virus was first identified 36 years ago in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (To put that number in perspective, more than 24,000 people fall ill from tuberculosis each day.) Still, Ebola has a grip on the public imagination that far exceeds the danger it actually poses — in part because of those 1,850 sick people, some 1,200 went on to die. And the deaths are rarely easy — Ebola can cause severe fever, muscle pain, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea and unstoppable bleeding. There is no treatment and no vaccine.

That’s why the latest Ebola outbreak in western Uganda, which has involved at least 20 cases and 14 deaths so far, has received so much attention. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the outbreak originated in a family in Nyanswiga village in Uganda’s Kibaale district, 140 miles (225 km)…

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