The 1918 pandemic, Dalrymple reminds us cheerfully, killed three or four times as many people as the First World War did.
With Ebola, what happens is that
the patient has a severe flu-like illness at first, but it soon gets worse. Both Marburg and Ebola are what are known as haemorrhagic fevers, that is to say fevers that cause the blood to fail to coagulate properly so that bleeding becomes general. It is a horrible thing to see and way to die: patients leak blood everywhere.