Ebola – the End of Humanity

Ebola is the name of a group of viruses belonging to the genus Ebolavirus, family Filoviridae, and for the disease that these viruses cause, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever. Ebola, and its close relative Marburg are unique in the microbiological world in that they are the only viruses that are long and stretched, resembling pieces of string or as “spaghetti that had spilled onto the floor,” as stated by author Richard Preston of the non-fictional book “The Hot Zone. ” that a sample of Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus resembles spaghetti that had spilled onto the floor.

However, like a majority of viruses that affects humans, the Ebola Virus is composed of a coiled strand of ribonucleic acid (RNA) surrounded by a protein encasing covered with protein spikes; four of the proteins that make up Ebola’s envelope are vaguely understood by scientists in their main function other than the fact that these proteins help break down the structural proteins in the human body. Ebola is a zoonotic virus and disease ? it comes straight from animals. Because of this fact, each index case in each outbreak is somehow linked to exposure to an infected animal, many times, an ape or monkey.

Thus, the virus has a special affinity to primates, and scientists are not sure at the moment of what animal serves as the host or are involved in the life cycle of the virus. Ebola is named after the Ebola River in the African nation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, near the villages where the first recognized outbreaks had occurred during 1976. There are at least five-known strains of Ebola: Sudan Ebolavirus, Zaire Ebolavirus, Reston Ebolavirus, Ivory Coast Ebolavirus, and the recently discovered Bundibugyo Ebolavirus.

The mortality rates for the Ebola virus varies with strain; patients suffering from Ebola Sudan has a mortality rate of 53%, and the most lethal being Ebola Zaire with a mortality rate of 90%. Ebola Reston, which is frighteningly similar to Ebola Zaire (to the point that virologists consider the two as “twin sister viruses”), has the same mortality rate towards non-human primates, but for some reason, infects humans, but not cause any serious life-threatening infection. Like Ebola Reston, Ebola Ivory Coast has in fact infected humans, but have not caused any lethal infection in humans.

The newest strain, Ebola Bundibugyo, have been reported to have claimed the deaths of 29 people along with 113 cases in Uganda as recent as December 2007 (Reuters). Most forms of Ebola are spread from direct contact of the blood, organs or semen of an infected. Rarely is Ebola able to be transmitted through the air, with the exception of Ebola Reston. Another mode of transmission of the virus are unhygienic hospital conditions that are prevalent throughout the affected areas of Africa, most commonly through the use of unsterilized syringes.

As well, transmission have also occurred by the handling of the ill or the dead. The incubation period for Ebola is usually less than two weeks, and from the time the symptoms begin to appear to death or recovery is usually seven to ten days. Because Ebola is relatively new, and there hasn’t been much research done on the virus, scientists are still yet to understand as to why some Ebola patients manage to survive and recover while others are unable to. As a type of hemorrhagic fever, Ebola has a devastating effect on the human body.

At first, a sudden set of flu-like symptoms appears in the infected, such as a severe headache, sore throat, muscle aches, and an intense debilitating weakness. These symptoms escalate to the onset of vomiting blood, intense abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, pharyngitis (inflamation of the throat), and conjunctivitis (inflamation of the mucous membranes in the eye). The final set of symptoms appear near a victim’s final death, such as the destruction and liqueficaiton of vital organs, internal and external hemorrhaging from all orifices.

The disease eventually progress to shock, respiratory arrest, and death. Diagnosis of Ebola is done using a laboratory technique called Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbant Assay (ELISA) that searches a blood sample for viral proteins, specific antigens, or antibodies produced within the infected patient. The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique is used to detect the genetic material of Ebola within the blood and tissue samples of an infected patient.

Upon the positive identification of Ebola, local health officials establish “strict barrier-nursing procedures, such as the use of gowns, gloves, and masks,” along with notifying experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) to assist in diagnosis, patient care, and outbreak control measures (Murphy).

Ebola is classified as Biosafety Level 4 Pathogen, which is the highest safety level, and thus requires scientists studying and working with the virus to wear protective suits such as the orange lightweight Racal space suit, or the blue heavy-duty Chemturion space suit (Preston). Also, there must be special equipment that must be used to sterilize the air and liquid, and solid wastes of the infected test subjects (Murphy). There are no known cure for Ebola; hence, there is no vaccine.

Treatment usually consist of “preventing shock and dehydration and providing supportive care” (Murphy). Patients suffering from Ebola are sent to intensive care where they are administered intravenous fluids as the disease causes dehydration to occur as well as fluids with electrolytes administered orally (WHO). Recovery from the disease is characterized by massive weight loss and amnesia during the early stages. An important issue in treating Ebola is that the virus affects remote areas of developing African nations, where modern medical care is difficult to access.

Effective procedures must also be set to ensure the safety of health-care workers from becoming infected by their patients. The Ebola virus was discovered in 1976, when two outbreaks of the disease had occurred, one in Zaire, and the other 373 miles away in Sudan. The combined epidemics constituted for “more than 600 cases and nearly 400 deaths” (Murphy). The third strain of Ebola, Ebola Reston had been discovered in 1989 in a quarantine faciility in Reston, Virginia, where hundreds of imported monkeys from the Philippines had died.

Along with that, four technicians from the facility were infected, but remained healthy, with no long-term effects. Another outbreak of Ebola Zaire occurred around the city of Kikwith during the summer of 1995, infecting 315 and killing about 250; the strain from this outbreak compared to the strain from the 1976 outbreak, 19 years and 311 miles apart, were found to be virtually identical (Murphy). A Swiss zoologist who had performed an autopsy on an infected chimpanzee became the index case of Ebola Ivory Coast in 1994, and eventually recovered from it.

Microbreaks, or small outbreaks also have occurred since 1994 in Ivory Coast, Liberia, Gabon, and most recently in Uganda, where the newest strain, Ebola Bundibugyo had been found. As of December 11th, 2007, there have been 113 cases of Ebola Bundibugyo, with 29 dead. Due to people’s fascination with such a lethal pathogen and its effects, Ebola has been popularized in many forms of popular culture, resulting in various forms of entertainment, ranging from documentaries to sci-fi apocalyptic themes, many of which are attributed to the concept of a zombie apocalypse.

The movie Outbreak in 1994, starring Dustin Hoffman, explored the possiblities of the fictional filovirus, the Motabavirus, causing a true epidemic within the United States. In the film, a picture of the Ebolavirus was used in presenting the Motabavirus (Petersen). In Tom Clancy’s novel, Executive Orders, biological warfare using the Ebolavirus formed the main plot. In the films 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later, the fictional Rage Virus was formed by the genetic manipulation of the Ebolavirus (Fresnadillo).

Notably, the fictional T-Virus in the videogame and film series Resident Evil that converts the living into bloodthirsty zombies was formed from the fictional Progenitor Virus, a form of Ebola. Ebola has been said to be worse than AIDS by its effectiveness to end humanity. It emerged from the forests of Africa-the same forests that have been succumbing to rapid deforestation. Clearly our world is overpopulated, and some speculate that the diseases emerging from the rainforests, such as AIDS and Ebola, are nature’s way of controlling the population.

But new breakthroughs in science and medicine are occurring each day, and chances are that these breakthroughs will help prevent what is considered to be an “Ebola Apocalypse. ” Works Cited Fresnadillo, Juan Carlos. 28 Weeks Later. Fox Atomic, 2007. 16 Jan 2007. Murphy, Frederick A. “Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever. ”

Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe 2005. CD-ROM. Petersen, Wolfgang. Outbreak. Warner Brothers, 1995. 16 Jan 2008. Reuters. “Uganda Confirms 113 Suspected Ebola Cases. ” News | Africa – Reuters. com 11 Dec 2007. 21 Jan 2008. . World Health Organization. “WHO | Ebola haemorrhagic fever. ” World Health Organization. 21 Jan 2008 .

The Ebola virus is a deadly virus in the filovirus family. The filovirus family consists of Ebola Zaire, the most virulent of the Ebola viruses, Ebola Sudan, Ebola Reston, and Marburg. The Ebola Zaire virus has a 90% kill rate …

Ebola virus is back, this time in West Africa, with over 350 cases and a 69% case fatality ratio at the time of this writing (Baize). The culprit is the Zaire ebola virus species, the most lethal Ebola virus known, …

The Ebola virus is a deadly virus in the filovirus family. The filovirus family consists of Ebola Zaire, the most virulent of the Ebola viruses, Ebola Sudan, Ebola Reston, and Marburg. The Ebola Zaire virus has a 90% kill rate …

Ebola first showed in 1976 in two outbreaks at one time, it occurred in Nzara, Sudan, and also Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. Ebola kills 90% of the people who have been infected with the virus. The article “Ebola virus …

David from Healtheappointments:

Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out https://goo.gl/chNgQy