The Ebola Virus

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  • Topic: Viral hemorrhagic fever, Ebola, Blood
  • Pages : 4 (1230 words )
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  • Published : April 16, 2002
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The Ebola Virus
History of, Occurrences, and Effects of

Ebola, a virus which acquires its name from the Ebola River (located in Zaire, Africa), first emerged in September 1976, when it erupted simultaneously in 55 villages near the headwaters of the river. It seemed to come out of nowhere, and resulted in the deaths of nine out of every ten victims. Although it originated over 20 years ago, it still remains as a fear among African citizens, where the virus has reappeared occasionally in parts of the continent. In fact, and outbreak of the Ebola virus has been reported in Kampala, Uganda just recently, and is still a problem to this very day. Ebola causes severe viral hemorrhagic fevers in humans and monkeys, and has a 90 % fatality rate. Though there is no cure for the disease, researchers have found limited medical possibilities to help prevent one from catching this horrible virus.

The Ebola virus can be passed from one person into another by bodily contact. Airborne transmission of Ebola has not yet been confirmed, as there is no substantial evidence of this occurring. Researchers are still to this day observing the ways of transmission of this virus from one person to the next. In previous outbreaks, this infection has often occurred among hospital care workers or family members who were caring for an ill or dead person infected with the virus. Blood and body fluids contain large amounts of virus, thus transmission of the virus has also occurred as a result of hypodermic needles being reused in the treatment of patients. Underfinanced health care facilities in countries such as Zaire, Gabon, and Sudan find reusing needles a common practice. This contributes the vast amount of fatalities of this virus in these cities.

The general geographic region that has been most affected by the different strains of the Ebola virus is Central Africa, namely the cities of Zaire, Sudan, and Gabon. The first known occurrence of Ebola was found in a man by the name of...
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