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Ebola virus - Essay Example

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Ebola Virus Even though only just over a thousand people have died from Ebola since the virus was discovered, it is still considered one of the deadliest diseases in the world. This is because of the usual horrific experience someone goes through before dying of the disease…
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Download file to see previous pages Additionally, possible treatment methods and the structure of the virus will be discussed. The official name for Ebola is simply the Ebola virus. It is a viral type of infection and causes a disease called Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF). There are four, possibly five, identified strains of the virus and each one affects a sufferer differently (Williams, 1999). The virus originated in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan, and is named after the Ebola River Valley in the Congo (Williams, 1999). In 1976, the first recognized outbreak occured at a missionary hospital run by Flemish nuns. There were two strains of the virus that were documented at that time: Ebola-Sudan and Ebola-Zaire (EBOZ). These two strains had extremely high infection rates along with high mortality rates (53 percent and 88 percent respectively). At that time, the numbers of infected people only ranged in the hundreds, and as such, was not so well-known yet in the international community. It was not until 1989 that the disease became public knowledge after infected monkeys were imported from the Philippines into Reston, Virginia. This was the third strain of Ebola recognized and it was called Ebola-Reston (EBOR). These were the first cases of Ebola in the United States. Only a small number were infected, and fortunately, none of them ever developed Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF). ...
The virus was named this after an outbreak of Ebola in Bundibugyo District, Uganda. The good news is that this strain of the virus was only short-lived. A couple of months after the discovery, it was confirmed by the Uganda Ministry of Health that the epidemic was over. There were only roughly a hundred cases of this strain of the virus, and of those infected, very few actually died from the disease compared to previous strains (39 deaths out of 116 cases – 34% mortality rate). The Ebola virus is typically transmitted by humans having close contact with a host, usually an infected animal (Williams, 1999). After this, the virus can be transmitted to others who come into contact with bodily fluids from the original infected person. Another way that it is transmitted between humans is through reused needles. Many experts believe that the chances of a new epidemic outbreak are low because initial infections usually occur in less populated areas. Additionally, because of the high rates of fatalities, Ebola sufferers demise rapidly, thus preventing a wide number of people coming into contact with the affected Ebola sufferer. Originally, the Ebola virus was though to be transmitted from animals to humans. Scientists have a theory of how the virus goes through the transmission stage. It is thought that bats drop uneaten fruit, which animals such as gorillas and monkeys then go on to consume. This is an indirect way of transmission, starting out with the natural host, and then progressing to the animal population. It is very rare that a human catches the virus from the natural host or reservoirs (Williams, 1999). Specific outbreaks of Ebola can typically be linked to a simple case of a human touching a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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