Ebola: Worldwide Annihilation?

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  • Topic: Ebola, Mononegavirales, Incubation period
  • Pages : 3 (956 words )
  • Download(s) : 45
  • Published : April 14, 2002
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By Ebony

Ebola: Worldwide Annihilation?
A movie, Outbreak, came out some years back and it put the threat of the Ebola virus smack dab in my face. Never, at that time, had I heard of a real-life present-day killer virus. Of course I learned about the Black Plague that occurred centuries ago killing masses of people. But in my day, no. Nothing outside of the common cold. It was horrifying. But this movie was fiction, right? The truth that it was based on is what this essay will focus on. This paper will explore the origins, types, causes/effects, and what is being done to fight the spread of this century's new Black Plague.

It is believed that this virus has been in hiding since ancient times. The lack of knowledge about it's natural history and reservoirs keeps researchers seeking out the mysterious virus that has no treatment or cure. Based on the available evidence and comparisons of similar viruses, researchers believed the virus to be animal-borne and that the host animal is native to Africa. Their attempts have been unsuccessful, and the source of the virus or where it circulates in between outbreaks is unknown. There is but one other virus similar to the Ebola, which is a Filovirus, and that is Marburg. Ebola has a 90% death rate, whereas, Marburg is not as deadly. Their long and ropelike shape rather than roundness, as is most other viruses, characterize Filoviruses.

Ebola is contracted very much like HIV: bodily fluids such as blood, vomit, sharing needles, and sexual contact. The only difference is that Ebola can be transmitted from the close contact of an infected person, which is the most common means of infection. This is possible because the Ebola virus has cells on the infected person's skin. For example, should you touch someone with the virus and then an opening on your body, like your mouth, you can be infected. This is why and how so many health care workers and family members are contaminated before a diagnosis is made. Unlike the...
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