What is Ebola?

By Joe Gullo , CNN

Published 07/31 2014 12:25PM

Updated 07/31 2014 12:32PM

The deadly Ebola virus may only be a plane ride away, however U.S. 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," Marty Cetron, of the CDC, said.

Here's what you need to know about Ebola:  

There is no vaccine or cure for the virus. While 60 - 90 percent of those who catch it die, 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 two to 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. 

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