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Ebola Virus: How Contagious?

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AIDS is still a killer in the U.S. According to the CDC, 15,500 people with AIDS died in 2010, the latest year for the statistics.

Ebola Virus

Bodily fluids, exposure to contaminated needles and other objects -- reproductive rate 1 to 4

Ebola was first discovered in 1976. Outbreaks have surfaced from time to time ever since. Ebola is particularly deadly, though. In the current outbreak, about 60% of those infected have died, according to the CDC.

Experts believe the virus hosts are animals, probably bats. 

While Ebola and HIV have a similar reproductive number, they are different in many ways, Duchin says. "HIV and Ebola both are present in the blood, but the ways they infect cells, where they live in the body, are very different."

Compared to the airborne organisms spread by casual contact, "it takes effort to get infected with both of these viruses [HIV and Ebola]," Adalja says.

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