Picture, for one moment, numerous bloody bodies lying scattered and moaning in agony in blood-soaked beds as the life is slowly and painfully drawn from them as if they were soldiers that had just returned from one of the deadliest wars in history, bruised, battered and broken by their enemy. But they had fought no war, and had never laid eyes on their enemy, for the very thing that was destroying them was living and replicating at an enormous rate, right inside their own bodies. This is the gruesome image of what a hospital looks like when its patients encounter the Ebola virus. Today the mention of its name alone can instill fear in anyone has heard much of its unpleasant effects. Yet, many do not just how horrible those effects are or just how Ebola has come to be what we know it as today. Ebola has only in fairly recent times emerged from its hiding place in the depths of the tropical rainforests of Africa and is now seen as one of the most lethal and efficient viral killers on the planet, certainly a potential bio-weapon threat that could prove extremely devastating.
Although Ebola is thought of as a very ancient virus, humans have only recently felt its presence on the Earth, and so its know history is brief, but significant. The Ebola virus was first recognized in September of 1976. (CDC "Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever" para. 1) The only thing we knew then was that it was dangerous, very dangerous, and although much remains to be known about this virus, we have also learned a lot about it since its initial discovery. Ebola originated in the African rainforest regions surrounding Zaire, where the first cases were discovered. Other known cases of Ebola infections have occurred in Gabon, Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Uganda, and the Republic of the Congo. Although we know the general area from which the viruses came, we don't know exactly where or what it came from. However, scientists believe it is "normally maintained in an animal host that is... [continues]
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