The Ebola Virus Investigating A Killer Essay — страница 4

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versions. The 1990’s have seen monkeys being imported to the United States from the Philippines, and there have been several times when these imported monkeys have carried the Ebola-Reston virus. The most recent of these cases was in 1996, when two out of a hundred monkeys imported to Texas died from the virus and created panic amongst Texan citizens. Since then, the CDC has taken preventive measures by re-licensing importers and denying licenses to those whom did not possess proper facilities and staff training. The mystery of how an African virus ended up in the Philippines is still unsolved, and the case is still under study. The CDC’s role in outbreak investigation has already lead them to send three medical scientists to Zaire to provide virus education within the

hospital staff, and to provide advice and assistance in control and prevention, collect specimens for diagnostic testing, study the clinical course of the ill, and search for other possibly infected individuals. There is also a possible attempt to source the virus. In a recent interview, Dr. Frederick A. Murphy had expressed concern over CDC’s ability to respond to outbreaks and organize programs regarding infectious diseases, fundamentally due to poor financial status. He states that such programs “have been nibbled to death by inflation”, subsequently leading to the loss of purchasing power by almost half. The CDC, along with other public health agencies, The National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, have published plans on what is needed to control new

and emerging diseases more efficiently. The plans focus on improving surveillance, laboratory diagnostics, communication and education. However, as Dr Murphy stated, it is a pity that such good plans are constrained by tight budgets, which could probably get much worse. Thankfully, I have had no direct personal experiences with the Ebola virus. I still remember people going crazy over a book called “The Hot Zone”; I was unaware of it being about a virus called Ebola. It was only when a book called “Ebola: A Documentary Novel of its First Explosion” by William T. Close, M.D. hit the shelves that I actually sat up and took notice of the evil disease. The closest I have ever gotten to the virus is through the silver screen, when I watched the Ebola-associated film Outbreak

when it was released several years ago. I remember witnessing the scenes featuring piles of corpses and the poor and dirty facilities of the hospitals in Africa. But the scene which I was most horrified of was the one that featured a diagrammatic geographical presentation of how fast the Ebola virus would sweep across the United States. Contamination was represented by the color red. I always remember the army general counting down what would happen in the next 12, 24, and 36 hours. By 48 hours, the map of the U.S. had been soaked in red, like blood. I found it extremely scary as a young girl. However, after doing this project, I have realized that Hollywood tends to exaggerate reality. In reality, the United States would have had more than efficient technology and education to

handle such a virus, so it would be almost impossible for Ebola to conquer the entire continent. Dr. Frederick A. Murphy evaluated the movie and concluded that Outbreak has “created some false impressions” about the CDC’s authority and the role of the Army in an epidemic situation. “…The movie,…with the Army taking over, is quite fictional.” he said. “I thought the early scenes in the Biosafety Level 1,2,3 and 4 labs looked pretty accurate. After that it became fiction, and I enjoyed it as fiction. We know a virus can’t kill someone in an hour. The making of the antisera in a day was ludicrous.” I have received maximum benefit from choosing this topic because it has made me more aware of what the Ebola virus actually is and does, and it has corrected my false

impressions of the virus. Before, the only thing I knew about Ebola was that it was a virus could cause an epidemic. Now I am proud to say that I know much more than that. I hope to educate others about the virus and create awareness of how deadly it is. I now respect the Ebola virus because I have realized just how tiny a creature can cause such massive destruction; it is one of the very few creatures on earth that has the ability to conquer man. It ultimately proves that size does not matter. In the memorable words of Colonel Sam Daniels in the movie Outbreak: “You have to admire its simplicity. It’s one billionth our size and it’s beating us.” The Ebola has created a deep, lasting impact on humankind. And it always will. Bibliography 1) BBC Online News