Ebola Research Essay

949 words - 4 pages

Currently known as an incurable disease that can be used as a potential bioterrorism weapon, the Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF) has a case fatality rate of up to 90% depending on the species of the Ebola Virus (EBOV). EBOV is an enveloped single-stranded negative-sense RNA virus belonging to the family Filoviridae [4]. The first outbreaks of EHF occurred in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan, they were caused by two species of Ebola virus named Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV) and Sudan ebolavirus (SEBOV). Between the years 1980-1993 there were no known outbreaks of EBOV, until 1994 a species known as Cote d'lvoire ebolavirus (CIEBOV) erupted in the Ivory Coast; in 2007 another ...view middle of the document...

Although, for a small amount of patients infected with EBOV, their signs within a few days will include: sore throat, hiccups, rash, red and itchy eyes, vomiting blood, and bloody diarrhea; within one week of infection, the symptoms will escalate to blindness and bleeding. A poor prognosis is marked by hemorrhagic signs as well as multi-organ failures [3].
Researchers and scientists have not been able to produce a treatment for those infected with the virus, it is expected that once infected, there is very little to no chance of survival. The only known treatment is supportive therapy, where it still has a very low chance of survival. This consists of balancing the patient's fluids and electrolytes, maintaining their oxygen status and blood pressure, and treating them for any complicating infections [1]. In order to reduce transmission, several strict public health measures need to be implemented as quickly as possible, including isolation of patients, barrier precautions and identification and tracking of all contacts [2]. Similar to the lack of treatment available, since the main source of EHF is unknown, there are very few preventative measures that can be taken. In order to reduce transmission, several strict public health measures need to be implemented as quickly as possible, including isolation of patients, barrier precautions and identification and tracking of all contacts [2].
The CDC has known about this disease since the initial outbreak in 1976 in Zaire and Sudan, which after much research about the disease, prevention from contamination has improved drastically since much is known about Ebola virology, physiopathology, clinical features and epidemiology, but the missing link certainly remains the virus reservoir in nature. Cases of the EHF have become more and more frequent in Africa due to the increase of...

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