Imagine you work for the Center for Disease Control centered in Africa, and you begin to get new reports of an epidemic coming through your office. The more reports that come in, you begin to investigate further. All of these patients are suffering from similar signs and symptoms, and most are succumbing to the illness within a few short weeks. The more research you do to stop this epidemic from spreading even more, you begin to find that this illness is very similar in characteristics to the Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, also known as Ebola Virus. How would you begin to educate hospital staff and the community of this virus? After doing some more research, the following information is what you have to present.
One of the first questions asked by the hospital staff and many patients of this virus is "What is it?" Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a severe, often-fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates, such as chimpanzees, gorillas, and monkeys. Ebola has appeared in sporadic outbreaks throughout parts of Africa since it was initally discovered in 1976. Ebola was first discovered in Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan. Ebola was named after a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where it was first recognized. Ebola is one of only two members in a family of RNA viruses, known as the Filoviridae. There are also five subtypes of Ebola that have now been discovered. The five subtypes are Ebola-Zaire, Ebola-Ivory Coast, Ebola-Bundibugyo, Ebola-Sudan, and Ebola-Reston. The Ebola-Reston has caused disease in nonhuman primates, but not in humans.
The Ebola filoviridae strain can be about 80nm in diameter, and can be as long as 1,100nm with bizarre branching forms. Filoviridae also have a high potential for mutation because they are RNA viruses. There have been no animal hosts as of today that have been identified to carry the Ebola virus, which makes research very limited on this virus. Ebola virus outbreak is believed... [continues]
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