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The Ebola Virus Essay

1102 words - 4 pages

The Ebola Haemorrahagic Fever, or Ebola for short, was first recognized as a virus in 1967. The first breakout that caused the Ebola virus to be recognized was in Zaire with 318 people infected and 280 killed. There are five subtypes of the Ebola virus, but only four of them affect humans. There are the Ebola-Zaire, Ebola-Sudan, Ebola-Ivory Coast and the Ebola-Bundibugyo. The fifth one, the Ebola-Reston, only affects nonhuman primates. The Ebola-Zaire was recognized on August 26, 1976 with a 44 year old schoolteacher as the first reported case. The Ebola-Sudan virus was also recognized in 1976 and was thought to be that same as Ebola-Zaire and it is thought to have broken out in a cotton factory in the Sudan. The Ebola-Ivory Coast was first discovered in 1994 in chimpanzees in the Tia Forest in Africa. On November 24, 2007, the Ebola-Bundibugyo branch was discovered with an approximate total of 116 people infected in the first outbreak and 39 deaths. The Ebola-Reston is the only one of the five subtypes to not affect humans, only nonhuman primates. It first broke out in Reston, Virginia in 1989 among crab eating macaques.
The Ebola virus is also a part of the Filoviridae family, along with Marburg, and contains a lipid envelope and has a single RNA strand. Ebolavirons are approximately 80 nanometers in width and vary in length. They also contain seven structural proteins that are surrounded by the lipid envelope that has an attached glycoprotein. During replication, it goes through translation but during transcription it stops after one or two genes so that on the 3 prime end it is completely transcribed but the 5 prime end is not transcribed and does not possess a 5-cap.
The Ebola-Zaire branch was the first to be recognized and has the highest death rate of 89 percent. The Ebola-Sudan subtype has a death rate of 53 percent, and the Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever virus as a whole having a 68 percent death rate. Since the Ebola virus has not been recognized for a long time, it cannot be said for sure how it is transmitted though it is believed to be zoonotic, meaning that it is transmitted by animals and from contact with the virus, making it spread quickly through family and friends. It also transmits itself nosocomially, where it can transmit quickly through a health care environment, like a hospital. This is especially dangerous in places like Africa, where the Ebola patients are treated without the proper gloves, masks and other protective gear and the needles are sometimes reused without being cleansed from the virus, spreading it quickly. Along with the easy which the Ebola virus spreads, the symptoms that go along with the virus make it difficult for doctors to treat and diagnose.
The symptoms of Ebola are a fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, vomiting, stomach pain, sore throat, diarrhea, weakness and occasionally read eyes, rashes, hiccups, and internal and external bleeding and since these symptoms are not specific to Ebola,...

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