The Ebola Virus Investigating A Killer Essay — страница 2

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that are examined in specialized laboratory tests. Such tests present a very extreme biohazard, so they are conducted in special high-containment laboratories to ensure maximum protection for scientists. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has classified the Ebola virus under Biosafety Level 4, which requires the greatest safety precautions. The technique used to diagnose the virus is called ELISA (Enzyme- Linked Immunosorbant Assay) that searches for specific antigens and antibodies found in the patient’s blood. A technique called the polymerase chain reaction is used to duplicate genetic material for analysis of patient tissue or blood for viral detection purposes. The symptoms of Ebola make it one of the most gruesome and horrifying ways to die: victims

ultimately die because the virus liquefies their insides. Like all forms of viral hemorrhagic fevers, Ebola symptoms start off as fever and muscle aches four to sixteen days after infection. Other minor health problems such as loss of appetite, weakness, conjunctivitis, and sore throat can also occur. Depending on the specific virus, the patient can then become extremely ill with respiratory problems, diarrhoea, rash, vomiting, severe kidney and liver problems, and shock. Internal and external bleeding results because blood fails to clog. Patients may bleed from injection sites as well as into the gastrointestinal tract, skin, and internal organs. Patients are prone to mental agitation, confusion and delirium. The Ebola’s rapid attack on the human body will now we investigated

on a micro level. There is a myth about the virus being able to infect just about any kind of cell. In actual fact, the Ebola virus specifically attacks the liver cells and cells of the reticuloendothelial system. The lining of capillaries are attacked, and they start to leak fluids and plasma proteins. Sometimes poor clotting capability results from intravascular coagulation. In due time, this will lead to shock due to low water volume in the body (hypovolemia). This consequently causes critical organ failure due to interruption of tissue oxygenation. At the usually irreversible stage of critical shock, the chances of living are almost nil. Ebola epidemics arise because the virus is highly contagious. Transmission is most common through close personal contact with one that has

contracted the illness. This is because the virus is carried in the victim’s bodily fluids, including blood, secretions and even semen. This means that transmission is also possible through sexual contact. The first outbreaks in Zaire and Sudan arose mainly due to the fact that hypodermic needles used to treat infected patients were reused and not sterilized in the hospitals. (The reuse of needles and syringes there is a common practice because the underfinanced medical system.) Transmission is also possible by dealing with infected primates, as demonstrated in the case of the Swiss zoologist who contracted the Ebola-Tai virus after performing an autopsy on an infected chimpanzee in 1994. Transmission to another person can occur even before the patient himself has yet to show

Ebola symptoms. If a patient does recover, her or his chances of spreading the virus is greatly reduced, but there are still possible chances of transmission through sexual contact, as the virus may still be present in genital secretions up to a period of seven weeks after recovery. The chances of transmission are therefore zero only after the patient has completely recovered and there are no traces of the virus whatsoever in the patient. However, if a patient dies, the body remains infectious, and therefore must be handled with extreme caution. Ebola cannot recur in a survivor; a fully recovered survivor has no traces of the virus in his or her system. The only way a survivor will catch the illness again is by re-infection. Thankfully, the Ebola virus is not an airborne disease.

Ebola- Reston is the only strain that could possibly be transmitted between monkeys through the air. At the moment, there is no present form of antiviral treatment for Ebola patient, and interferon is not able to affect the virus in any way. While intensive research is still in progress to find an appropriate form of treatment, intensive supportive care can only be given to patients, who are in a constant state of dehydration and recurrently need intravenous fluids. The handling of fluids and electrolytes is done with extreme caution. Replacement of plasma albumin is helpful prior to the stage of clinical shock. There is no cure for the Ebola virus, nor is there a vaccine for protection against it. Vaccines must be specific to certain strains. Therefore, a universal vaccine for