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The Ebola virus was discovered in 1976. It has four strains, each from a different geographic area, but all give their victims the same painful, often lethal symptoms. The Ebola virus and Marburg virus are the two known members of the Filo virus family. Marburg is a relative of the Ebola virus. The four strains of Ebola are Ebola Zaire, Ebola Sudan, Ebola Reston, and Ebola Tai. Each one is named after the location where it was discovered.
These filo viruses cause hemorrhagic fever, which is actually what kills victims of the Ebola virus. Hemorrhagic fever is defined as a group of viral aerosol infections, characterized by fever, chills, headache, fatigue, and respiratory symptoms. This is followed by capillary hemorrhages, and, in severe infection, kidney failure, hypotension, and, possibly, death. The incubation period for Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever ranges from 2 - 21 days.
The blood fails to clot and patients may bleed from injection sites and into the gastrointestinal tract, skin and internal organs. Massive destruction of the liver is one distinct symptom of Ebola. This virus does in ten days what it takes AIDS ten years to do. It also requires bio-safety level four containment, the highest and most dangerous level.
HIV the virus that causes AIDS requires only a bio-safety level of two. In reported outbreaks, 50 %- 90 % of cases have been fatal. Ebola can be spread in a number of ways. Ebola reproduction in infected cells takes about eight hours.
Hundreds to thousands of new virus cells are then released during periods of a few hours to a few days. In most outbreaks, transmission from patient to patient within hospitals has been associated within the reuse of needles and syringes. High rates of transmission in outbreaks have occurred from patients to family members who provide nursing care without barriers to prevent exposure to blood, other body fluids such as, vomit, urine and feces. Risk for transmitting the infection appears to be highest during the later stages of illness. Those symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, shock, and frequently hemorrhaging.
Even a person who has recovered from the symptoms of the illness may have the virus present in the genital secretions for a short time after. This makes it possible for the virus to be spread by sexual activity. Complete recovery is reached only when none virus? s cells are left in any body fluids. This is quite rare. Ebola Zaire was identified in 1976 in Northern Zaire and was the first documented appearance of the virus.
This strain of the virus effects humans and nonhuman primates. Close contact and dirty needles can spread the Ebola virus. The center of the epidemic in Zaire involved a missionary hospital where they reused needles and syringes without sterilization. Most of the staff of the hospital died.
This outbreak infected 318 with a death rate of 93 %. Another fatal case was reported one year later in Zaire, but nothing major ever became of it. The most recent case recorded was the infamous breakout in Kikwit, Zaire. This breakout had the world in an uproar about the possibility of this virus spreading out globally. This outbreak appeared to have started with a patient who had surgery in Kikwit on April 10, 1995. Members of the surgical team then developed symptoms similar to those of a viral hemorrhagic fever disease.
From there, the disease spread to more than 300 others. The most frequent symptoms at the onset were fever 94 %, diarrhea 80 %, and severe weakness, 74 %. Clinical signs of bleeding occurred in 38 % of cases. The World Heath Organization declared on August 24, 1995 that the outbreak of Ebola Zaire in Kikwit was officially over after killing 244 of its 315 known victims. This outbreak had a rate of death over 75 %.
Ebola Sudan also occurred in 1976 about the same time as Ebola Zaire. The number of cases was 284 with a death rate of 53 %. The outbreak occurred in a hospital setting. In 1979 a small epidemic was acknowledged in the same town of Sudan. Again, the setting for the small epidemic was a hospital setting with inadequate supplies and unsanitary conditions.
Ebola Reston was isolated in 1989 during an outbreak in quarantine in Reston Virginia. These monkeys were imported to the U. S. from the Philippines. This was the only outbreak of the virus to go outside the continent of Africa. This Reston strain of Ebola appears to be highly contagious for some monkey species but not for man.
No humans fell victim or even contracted the virus. This also is the only known strain to be able to be transferred through the air. Ebola Tai, which was named after the forest in which it was found, is the newest stain of the Ebola family. A Swiss female zoologist, who performed an autopsy on a chimpanzee infected with the same virus in the wild, contracted it. This occurred in the Ivory Coast, West Africa in mid November of 1994. This is the only know case of Ebola Tai and is the first recorded case that infection of a human has been linked to naturally infected monkeys anywhere on the African continent.
It is also not clear how the chimpanzee may have contracted the disease. The usual hosts for these types of hemorrhagic causing viruses are rodents, ticks or mosquitoes. The natural reservoir for Ebola viruses has not been identified and because of the high fatality rate seen in apes they are unlikely to be the reservoir. The Ebola might never pose a problem to the world community but, the virus itself is armed with several advantages.
It has the ability to mutate into new strains as has been seen over time. The fact that there are no known hosts, which means that there is no way to create a vaccine, along with poor sanitary conditions and lack of medical supplies, help to spread the disease. Even if an international crisis were to occur, the virus has to many downfalls. The disease under ultraviolet light the virus falls apart. Also, its victims die so quickly that they do not have a chance to spread the infection very far.
There is no vaccine, and it is not known if blood from survivors that contain antibodies can be used to create a drug to treat the disease. Some people have had symptoms go away with the blood transfusion of a survivor? s blood, but no connection to the antibodies and the reliefs of the symptoms of the illness were ever proven. Bibliography nope
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