Ebola Essay

1082 words - 4 pages

it is good said it was the best paper on ebola she'd ever receviedMarch 1, 1996 EBOLA Imagine going on vacation to a foreign country andwhen youcome home y ou are horribly sick. Your head hurts, you have a highfever, and you startvomiting. Chances are that you may havecontracted the Ebola virus. Ebola was firstdiscovered in the village of Yambuku(1) nearthe Ebola River in Zaire. Since its discove ry, therehave beenfour outbreaks of this disease. There are three known strains, ofvariations of ebola.There is no known cure for this disease(2).Ebola has become one of the most mysterious andfeared viruses onthe face of this earth. Ebola's first documented appearance was in Zaire in1976. Noone knows where ebola comes from or what the original host is.However, sc ientists knowthat man is not ebola's natural host(3).The host was first suspected of being carried by monkeysin theAfrican r ain forests(4), but in one case the monkeys at a holdingfacility broke out and had tobe killed. In the pursuit of a cure and an origin, there have beenseveral teams of scientistswhose top priority is to find theviruses origin(5). The teams have trekked through the rainforestsof Africa to collecting different species of animals,bugs, and plant life. Bugs are also coll ectedfrom the hospitalsand from the surrounding huts of the villages. So far 36,000specimens havebeen collected. Once they have been gathered, thespecimens are put into liquid nitrogen andflown back to theUnited States, where they are studied at t he Centers for DiseaseControl inAtlanta Georgia and the Army Medical Research Instituteof Infectious Diseases at Fort DetrickMd.,(6). Researchers havediscovered the source of human infection for all level fourorganismsexcept ebola(7). This means that all organisns thatcause deadly viruses have been contained andstudied, and have hadantibodies created to ward of the illn esses that are caused. AlthoughEbola is a mystery to humans, the virus isrelatively hard to catch and it kills quickly, l esseningthechance victims will infect others. It is transmitted by contactwith bodily fluids like blood, vomitand semen or contaminatedsyringes and is not known to be passed along throughcasualcontact(8). When the first outbreak of ebola occur red, it was in 1976 inZaire and inSudan at the same time. There were 318 casesreported in Zaire and 240 of those cases prove dto be fatal. InSudan, there were 284 cases and 134 of those cases proved to befatal. In 1979,there was another small epidemic in the sameregion of Sudan. In 1989 there was a breakout inReston Virginia,at a monkey holding facility, that killed ov er 400 monkeys thathad been shippedfrom the Phillines. This strand however, is onlylethal to monkeys and id not a threat tohumans(9). In 1995, therewas an outbreak in Kikwit Zaire that claimed 233 lives. At least7 peoplesurvived that outbreak becauses of a new breakthroughthat is a possible solution to the loss oflives that are sufferedin a outbreak. Blood from one sur viving...

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