Could the Ebola Outbreak Spread to the U.S.?
UGANDA -- Fourteen people have died so far from the Ebola outbreak that began earlier this month in Western Uganda.

According to the World Health Organization, the first case is believed to be from the Nyanswiga village in Nyamarunda, a sub-county of the Kibaale district of Uganda.

So far, 36 suspected cases have been reported, WHO spokesman Tariq Jasarevic said Tuesday. Nine of the deaths are reported to have occurred in one household; a health official who was treating one of the patients also died. Unfortunately family members and health officials - those caring for the already sickened - are the most likely to be infected as well.

When was Ebola first discovered?

The Ebola virus was first detected in 1976 in the central African nation of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

The virus is named after a river in that country, where the first outbreak of the disease was found.

There are five species of Ebola viruses, all named after the areas they were found in: Zaire, Sudan, Cote d'Ivoire, Bundibugyo and Reston, according to the WHO. (There can be different strains of Ebola within each species).

Health officials have determined that the Sudan species is the culprit in this current outbreak, which is among the three more lethal species of Ebola.

The fatality ratios of Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreaks in Africa are between 25% and 90%, according to a WHO fact sheet.

So far only the Reston species of Ebola has been found to infect humans and not cause serious illness or death.

What are the symptoms of Ebola and is there a cure?

Initial symptoms of Ebola can be mistaken for other illnesses like the flu because they can be very similar: sudden high fever, joint and muscle pain and sore throat.

But Ebola victims then often get bloody diarrhea and/or start vomiting, followed by rashes, red eyes, and internal and external bleeding (bloody nose or gums).

Early reports from this outbreak suggest more patients were suffering from vomiting and diarrhea than visible external bleeding.

But health officials caution that information about this outbreak is still very scattered and the investigation has just begun.

There is no treatment for Ebola and no vaccine.

All doctors can do is provide patients with supportive care, like replenishing fluids and electrolytes, keeping their blood pressure and oxygen levels in check and treating any infections that might occur, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

There's a lot that's not known about this disease, but researchers suspect that "patients who die usually have not developed a significant immune response to the virus at the time of death," according to a CDC fact sheet.

How does it spread?