America’s Greatest Fear
The Ebola virus was discovered in the late 1970s by the international community as the causative agent of major outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever in Africa’s Sudan and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Sudan (Vasilyevich IV, et al. 2005). Immediately, the International scientific teams moved in to deal with these highly virulent epidemics where their findings revealed that the transmission had exponentially ceased; however, the team could not reconstruct a considerable data from the survivors of the epidemic. The high death rate of medical staff resulted to the closure of many medical facilities, thus doing away with major centers for dissemination of infection through the use of untreated needles, syringes and the lack of barrier-nursing techniques. The deadly Ebola virus is killing thousands of innocent people worldwide, but there are steps being taken to prevent the virus from spreading. In 1989, Ebola virus was reported in the United States of America when it appeared in monkeys who were imported into a Reston, Virginia, primate facility outside of Washington, DC. Epidemics in monkeys which occurred in this facility and others lasted through 1992 (Georges, 1997) and recurred in 1996. Later, epidemiologic studies were conducted in connection with both epidemics and they successfully traced the virus introductions to one Philippine exporter. However, the studies failed to detect the actual cause and source of the virus. Due to political instability, scientists’ attempts to work in the remote areas where the monkeys were seized have been too small. Laboratory studies were stimulated in order to control these introduced virus outbreaks which were realized in 1989 and chimpanzee inbreed in the 1990s in order to improve diagnosis of nonhuman primate infections (Fields, et Al 1996). However, it has not been confirmed since the materials that were necessary to definitively confirm the utility of these techniques for humans were not provided. After Ebola hemorrhagic fever was discovered in Africa between 1976 and 1979, it was not seen again until the year 1994. It is believed by scientists that during this time, possibly it was circulating in its natural reservoir. On the other hand, the virus might have been causing sporadic human infections that remained undetected because Ebola patients never contaminated medical facilities to produce the savage nosocomial epidemics that brought Ebola virus to medical attention. Between 1981 and 1985, Ebola virus surveillance was carried out simultaneously with intensified efforts to contain monkey pox (Vasilyevich IV, et al. 2005). This surveillance may have identified several cases and estimated the prevalence among the population; however, the findings are subject to caveats because of problems with the validity of laboratory tests. Serosurveillance in 1995 also suggested that human infections may have occurred from time to time. It is believed that the Ebola virus may have initially been transmitted to humans from bats (Renaud AA, et al. 199) Bioinformatics researchers all over the world especially those at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, have found that there is a concrete circumstantial case that says infection by bats is likely, but renowned scientists haven't actually found strong evidence to support this hypothesis. During the period of 1994–1996, almost five independent active sites of Ebola virus transmission were identified: Côte d'Ivoire in 1994 ; Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1995 (Georges, 1997) and Gabon in 1994, 1995, and 1996 . The initially known Zaire subtype of Ebola virus and the newly discovered Côte d'Ivoire subtype were both involved in the report, and as in previous African Ebola virus transmissions, the active sites were within or near tropical forests, for instance along riverine forests. Ebola outbreaks have been reported since its discovery in late 1970s. The first outbreak happened in 1976 in the Republic...
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Fields, Bernard, ed. " Filoviridae: Marburg and Ebola Viruses." Field 's Virology, Third Edition. Lippincott-Raven: New York. 1996. 1161-1176.
Georges AJ, Leroy EM, Renaud AA, et al. Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreaks in Gabon, 1994-1997: epidemiologic and health control issues. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 1999;179:S65-75.
Khan AS, Tshioko FK, Heymann DL, et al. The Reemergence of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1995. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 1999;179:S76-S86.
Le Guenno, Bernard, P. Formenty, and C. Boesch. "Ebola Virus Outbreaks in the Ivory Coast and Liberia, 1994-1995." Ibid.
Okware SI, Omaswa FG, Zaramba S, et al. An outbreak of Ebola in Uganda. Tropical Medicine and International Health. 2002;7(12):1068-1075.
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