The Ebola Virus Essay Research Paper Ebola

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The Ebola Virus Essay, Research Paper Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever In the world today, there are many known deadly viruses, but few present as great a threat as Ebola, the virus that causes Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever. Key factors in understanding Ebola HF include: Its history, plan of attack, and the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. The Ebola virus can, and usually does cause a disease called Ebola hemorrhagic fever, which is a Viral hemorrhagic fever. According to the proceedings of the 4th National Symposium on Biosafety, the clinical definition for Viral hemorrhagic fever is as follows. “Viral hemorrhagic fever is an acute infection that begins with fever, myalgia, malaise and progresses to prostration. It shows evidence of vascular dysregulation and increased vascular

permeability and can include multisystem involvement. The hemorrhage indicates extent of small vessel involvement but not necessarily large in volume. Shock, encephalopathy, extensive hemorrhage, and poor prognosis should be expected” (4th National 2). The Ebola virus is named after a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) in Africa, where it was first recognized. The Ebola virus is closely related to the Marburg virus. Both are members of a relatively new family of viruses called Filoviradae. Ebola hemorrhagic fever is classified as a BSL-4 (biosafety level 4) agent, which is the most dangerous in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classification system. BSL-4 agents are exotic agents that pose a high risk of life-threatening disease,

and for which there is no vaccine or therapy. “Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a severe, often-fatal disease in humans and non human primates (monkeys and chimpanzees) that has appeared sporadically since its initial recognition in 1976″ (CDC 1). Common human perceptions of this virus are, for the most part, accurate in that it is a highly contagious agent that can cause a fatal disease called Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Although, there are a few misconceptions such as the belief that the virus can be transmitted from person to person through the air, which is not known to be true, and later explained. Also, contrary to popular assumptions, humans are not carriers of the virus, as we are with the influenza virus, 2 for example. The initial patient in an outbreak must have somehow

contracted the virus from an infected primate carrier, such as a monkey, which will also be explained. Listed, are some of the more pertinent outbreaks of Ebola hemorrhagic fever. In 1976, the first and largest outbreak of the virus occurred in Yambuku, Zaire, killing 88% of 318 infected patients. This species was named respectively, Ebola-Zaire, and has appeared in four other outbreaks to date. The Ebola-Sudan species appeared, naturally in the cities of Nzara and Maridi, Sudan also in 1976. The death toll was much less than the Zaire outbreak at 53% of 284 infected persons. In 1995, the Ebola-Zaire species struck again, killing 81% of 315 reported cases. This time, the outbreak occurred in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo, which was the new name Zaire. In the United

States, to date, no case of the disease in humans has ever been reported, not to say the virus has never been here. In 1989, 1990, and 1996, Ebola, or at least a weaker species of the virus was brought into quarantined facilities in Virginia, Texas, and Pennsylvania by infected monkeys imported from the Philippines. In both 1989 and 1990, four humans were infected with the virus, but did not become ill. Obviously, the species of the virus, now called Ebola-Reston, that entered the United States was a much weaker species than those in Zaire and Sudan. “The Reston outbreak served as an important wake-up call for the U.S. Army and CDC research groups. Among other things, it demonstrated the need for better diagnostic tools” (4th National 10). Transmission of the Ebola virus is