The Deadly Ebola Virus Essay

1043 words - 4 pages

It’s a world class traveler, but it doesn’t have a passport. It’s highly contagious, but it can’t be cured. Ebola: (EBOV) the virus that has captured the attention of viewers worldwide with its recent outbreak. The World Health Organization has confirmed that 5,288 people have recently lost their lives to the contagious virus, and due to the rising death tolls, have marked this outbreak to be the deadliest. The sudden reappearance of EBOV has not only encouraged the continued effort towards containment, but has also sparked another concern: Could this plaguing virus be morphed into a weapon? Analysts are now considering EBOV’s potential to become the main ammunition in a revolutionary new form of warfare that would include infused bombs, also known as “dirty bombs” . If perfected, these bombs could explode and infect entire cities at one time. Researchers are beginning to test the disease for biological properties that would make it especially useful to terrorist organizations. If this technology were to be developed, not only would terrorist organizations have the power to infect and annihilate millions using Ebola, but they could also alter the way we fight our wars by replacing physical combat with biological warfare.

While Ebola seems to have become the “hot topic” of the hour, for the vast majority it is a novel and unheard of concept. The question must be asked, what is Ebola, and what is it that makes it so scary? Ebola is a virus which causes the infected person to bleed both internally and externally. In addition to massive blood loss, it also causes the immune system to shut down, leading to the decomposition of the body’s vital organs. The filovirus ­pathogens and factors which cause the development of hemorrhagic fevers also known as the Ebola and Marburg viruses (Warren et al. 405)­ is normally contracted through physical contact with bodily fluids, via sneezing, sweat, etc., or blood, but wings and antlers are characteristics of additional silent carriers. (“Ebola Virus Disease”).

Note: Regardless of how tempting it sounds, never eat fruit bats or antelope. In African countries, these animals are delicacies, but have also been identified as potential carriers of Ebola. According to NPR writer Michaeleen Doucleff, fruit bat and antelope meat are believed to be hosts for Ebola (Doucleff). Not only can their meat be infected, but they can also contaminate fruit and pass the virus onto its consumer. Recent research studies have shown that the infection has the ability to coexist and replicate in bats but will not kill them nor will it cause them to show any sign of infection, making them the perfect carriers (Leroy et al. 575).

The sneezing, the coughing, the congestion, the feeling of an elephant sitting on your chest… having a common cold is a form of terror in it of itself. What if this virus could affect thousands at a time with the push of a button? More frightening than that, what if the same method were used to spread a...

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