The Ebola Virus Essay Research Paper Ebola — страница 2

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highly dependent upon the initial infection of a human. It is hypothesized that the first infected human in an outbreak must have been infected by an animal. This first infected patient in an outbreak is called the index case. At this point, humans can transmit the virus from person to person in several ways. People can contract the Ebola virus through contact with the blood and/or secretions of an infected person. For this reason, this virus is commonly spread among family members in the course of feeding, holding, or otherwise caring for infected persons in any way that they would come in contact with such 3 secretions. Also, people can be exposed to the virus through contact with objects, such as needles, that have been contaminated with infected secretions. The most common

means of transmission of the Ebola virus is the spreading of the virus throughout a health-care setting, such as a clinic or hospital, this situation is known as amplification. In African hospitals, for example, where funds and supplies are scarce, patients are often cared for without the use of necessary protective equipment, such as masks, gowns, and gloves. Many cases of exposure to the virus has occurred when health care workers have treated infected persons without using this essential clothing. In addition, many of the needles used for injections to the ill were not of the disposable type. When health care workers used the needles in multiple vials and on multiple patients, they may not have been sterilized, but merely rinsed before reinsertion. If needles or syringes

become contaminated with the virus and are then reused, numbers of people can become infected. The Ebola-Reston Virus species , that appeared in a primate research facility in Virginia, may have been transmitted from monkey to monkey through the air in the facility (CDC 2). The Ebola virus has displayed the ability to be spread through airborne particles (aerosols) under research conditions, but this type of transmission has not been documented among humans in a real-world setting, such as a household or hospital. “The Ebola virus appears to have an incubation period of four to sixteen days, after which time the impact is devastating” (Carson 1). “One of the few things known about Ebola was that during the initial stages of infection, the virus floods the bloodstream with a

glycoprotein–a protein with sugars attached” (Glausiusz 1). This stage apparently occurs during the incubation period. Researchers have recently learned that the glycoprotein is part of a two-pronged attack that leaves the victim bleeding and defenseless. There are actually two forms of the glycoprotein. The first, is released into the bloodstream, and the second, a much larger version, stays attached to the virus. The free form has been found to attach itself to a type of white blood cell called a neutrophil. The neutrophils are the immune system’s front line troops. 4 They attack and destroy invading viruses and signal the other fighters for the immune system, such as the B cells that make antibodies, and the T cells that kill virus-infected cells. Experts suspect that by

binding to the neutrophils, the glycoprotein cripples them so they cannot attack or signal other cells. This process opens the gateway for Ebola to attack the human body. The virus now begins its assault on the body. It attacks the body’s blood vessels, using the attached, larger glycoprotein as a key to enter endothelial cells, the cells that line the interiors of our veins and arteries. Ebola invades and sabotages the cells’ genetic machinery in order to reproduce itself, it also damages endothelial cells, making blood vessels leaky and weak. The patient first bleeds and then goes into shock as falling blood pressure leaves the circulatory system unable to pump blood to vital organs. Long before the immune system can build up enough antibodies to retaliate, a process that

can take weeks, most Ebola HF victims bleed to death. The signs and symptoms of Ebola hemorrhagic fever are not the same for all patients, but some of the more common early and late symptoms are listed. Within a few days after the end of the incubation period, most Ebola patients experience: high fever, headache, muscle aches, stomach pain, fatigue and diarrhea. Some early Ebola patients have: sore throat, hiccups, rash, red and itchy eyes, bloody vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. Within one week after the end of the virus’s incubation period, most patients encounter: chest pain, shock and finally death. Also, some late Ebola patients experience complete blindness, internal hemorrhaging, hemorrhaging through the skin, and bleeding from the ears, nose and mouth. Diagnosing Ebola