By killing ninety percent of its victims, Ebola is one of the most effective viruses known to man. This virus does not have any specific requirements for its host, it simply attaches itself to a species and does as much damage as possible. Ebola is extremely contagious; it is practically unstoppable, incurable, and unpreventable. The ease of transfer between species makes detection and isolation of infected hosts paramount. The killing efficiency of the Ebola virus has created worldwide fear and respect for its deadly potential as made evident by outbreaks in places such as Sudan, Zaire, and Uganda.
1976, this deadly virus strikes Sudan, Africa to create the world’s first ever recorded epidemic of the Ebola virus. This virus infected two hundred eighty four people, killing one hundred fifty four of them (CDC). The virus spread extremely quickly mainly from close contact inside the hospitals. Because doctors had no idea what they were dealing with or how to treat it, they were also infected. The epidemic begins with a factory storekeeper getting infected in the Nzara township of Sudan (History. com).
He dies soon after getting infected, thus causing the virus to begin spreading throughout the area. Fear begins to fill the oblivious minds of the families inhabiting Sudan, Africa. According to Michael B. A. Oldstone, author of Viruses, Plagues, and History, a thirty-six year old lab technician known as Kinfumu checked into the general hospital in Kikwit, Zaire thinking he was sick with an illness that had been going around his city (130). Unfortunately, he later found out the virus he had was in fact Ebola.
Soon after Kinfumu died, the entire hospital staff began to fall sick with the virus. One nurse that was shipped 70 miles out of Kikwit infected at least three other people before her death. Eventually the World Health Organization was contacted and brought out to stop the plague. The W. H. O was afraid the virus would eventually spread to the city’s capital, thus forcing them to quarantine the city (130-132). Devastation yet again shows its ugly face in Uganda, Africa when another epidemic breaks out affecting an even a larger amount of people than the first recorded outbreak.
This time, the virus kills fifty three percent of the four hundred twenty five people infected. The outbreak occurred in the districts of Gulu, Masindi, and Mbarara(CDC). The virus spread so quickly because of the physical contact between the deceased victims and their families giving their last goodbyes at funerals and burials. The virus also found a way to jump from host to host by attaching itself from patient to doctor, or nurse, and then onto the doctors’ or nurses’ family members, or to anyone they may have come in contact with after infection.
View of Peter Walsh, a research fellow at Princeton University in New Jersey, “that the transmission of Ebola virus from apes to humans is related to the history of the region when it was a colony of France; Factors contributing to the slow dissemination of information and research” (Thacker). The killing efficiency of the Ebola virus has created worldwide fear and respect for its deadly potential as made evident by outbreaks in places such as Sudan, Zaire, and Uganda.