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Ebola Virus

Ebola Virus In the year 1976, Ebola climbed out of its unknown hiding place, and caused the death of 340 people. Fear gripped the victims faces, and uncertainty tortured their minds. The people of Zaire waited outside clinics, churches and in their homes for a treatment of the horrible disease, but there was no cure. They were forced to watch people die, hoping that they would be saved from the violent death of the Ebola virus. From the year of 1976 to the present date of 1996, researchers have searched for origin and cure of the virus. Scientists have carried out numerous studies and investigations, but no one has been able to find the right explanations.

Prevention of a world wide outbreak lies within the education of what the virus is capable of doing, how Ebola victims can be properly treated , and by performing prompt action to isolate the virus before it has dispersed. The Ebola virus is a member of a family of RNA viruses know as filoviruses. Marburg virus and four Ebola viruses: Ebola Zaire, Sudan, Reston and Tai are the five different viruses that have been known to cause disease in humans, while Ebola Reston only causes disease within monkeys. Filoviruses, arenaviruses, flaviruses, and bunyaviruses are the viruses responsible for causing viral hemorrhagic fevers. All forms of virus of viral hemorrhagic fever begin with fever and muscle aches. These diseases usually progress until the patient becomes very ill with respiratory problems, severe bleeding, kidney malfunctions, and shock.

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The conclusions of the viral hemorrhagic fever can range from a mild illness to death. Ebola viruses are spread though close personal contact with a person who is very ill with the disease. Usually the wide spread action of the virus takes place among hospital care workers or family members who were aiding an infected person. Ebola can spread by the reuse of hypodermic needles, which occurs frequently in underdeveloped countries like Zaire and Sudan, but it is unlikely to become infected by close contact with persons infected who show no symptoms. The Ebola virus spreads through the blood and is replicated in organs, including the liver, lymphatic organs, kidneys, ovaries and testes.

The central lesions appear to be those affecting the vascular endothelium and the platelets. The resulting symptoms are bleeding, especially in the nose, abdomen, pericardium and vagina. Capillary leakage appears to lead to loss of intravascular volume, bleeding, shock and the acute respiratory disorder seen in fatal cases. Patients basically die of intractable shock. Those with severe illness often have fevers and are delirious, combative and difficult to control.

Some victims of the Ebola virus, one out of ten people infected, survive the virus’s deadly operations. Due to its self limiting nature, the Ebola virus is known to sometimes die out within a person before killing the host organism. Just like the history of wars and other social epidemics, the Ebola outbreaks need to be remembered and learned from. The first two Ebola outbreaks were in 1976, in the countries of Zaire and western Sudan. These were large outbreaks, resulting in more than 550 cases and 340 deaths. In 1979, Ebola mysteriously appeared in Sudan causing 34 cases and 22 fatalities.

The most recent Ebola Zaire outbreak started with a surgery on a suspected Malaria patient in Kikwit, Zaire on April 10, 1995. As in the 1976 outbreak, secondary transmission of the virus in Kikwit occurred though close personal contact with infectious blood and other body fluids. Members of the surgical team then developed symptoms similar to those of a viral hemorrhagic fever disease. The Ebola Zaire in Kikwit spread quickly, but investigation and control of the outbreak come from a combined effort of medical teams from the Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization, Belgium, France, and South African countries. Since July 1, 1995, 233 deaths have been reported among the 293 cases.

So has the Ebola virus ever made it to the United States? This question has come up in various letters to editors, and in FAQ (frequently asked questions) on the Internet. Truth is that in 1989 monkeys infected with Ebola Reston were imported to Reston, Virginia from the Philippines. Importation of African Green and rhesus monkeys was immediately brought to a halt, and was not resumed until the virus responsible for the quick deaths of these monkeys was analyzed. The scariest characteristic about the Ebola Reston was that it was known to have been airborne, and that it was efficiently killing the monkeys that had been imported form the Philippines (Palca, 1990). Reston, Virginia and the 149 workers who came in contact with the monkeys were grateful to find that the newly discovered Ebola Reston did not cause disease in humans. Of the 149 workers, none of the workers became ill and only two developed antibodies for the Ebola Reston (Marjorie, 1990). The outbreaks of 1976 and 1979 left no evidence to what might have been carrying the Ebola before it was passed onto humans.

To this date no clues have been uncovered about where the virus hides between outbreaks. Collection of animal specimens is currently underway in Kikwit, but the possible species in tropical Africa are so numerous that a long and lucky search is likely to be required. The Ebola Tai found on November 24, 1995 by a Swiss researcher in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), West Africa. The researcher caught the Ebola Tai from a chimpanzee while carrying out an investigation about a spate of deaths among local chimps of the Tai forest. When the Pasteur investigators examined tissue taken from the dead chimpanzee, they found that the animal’s spleen and liver contained large areas of necrotic tissue resembling what had previously been found in autopsies of patients who perished from Ebola Zaire and Sudan. Instant investigation of the 4200 square-kilometer reserve of the Tai forest was launched, but to this day no trace to the location of Ebola has been found.

The researcher was evacuated to a hospital in Switzerland where she recovered. The dedicated researcher has now returned to Ivory Coast to continue her work. During most of these outbreaks, field teams of researchers have captured more than 3,000 birds and mammals, including small rodents and several thousand possible insects. Material of these animals are now being processed for virus isolation. Blood samples of an estimated 64 suspected cases have also been serologically confirmed. Still to this day, many questions like “Where is Ebola originally from?” and “Will Ebola Zaire, Sudan, or Tai be able to become air- born?” remain a mystery.

Bibliography vel2.html (Ebola Virus Information Head Quarters)copyright 1999 and copyright 1997.

Ebola Virus

Ebola Virus In the world today, there are many known deadly viruses, but few present as great a threat as Ebola, the virus that causes Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever. Key factors in understanding Ebola HF include: Its history, plan of attack, and the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. The Ebola virus can, and usually does cause a disease called Ebola hemorrhagic fever, which is a Viral hemorrhagic fever. According to the proceedings of the 4th National Symposium on Biosafety, the clinical definition for Viral hemorrhagic fever is as follows. “Viral hemorrhagic fever is an acute infection that begins with fever, myalgia, malaise and progresses to prostration.

It shows evidence of vascular dysregulation and increased vascular permeability and can include multisystem involvement. The hemorrhage indicates extent of small vessel involvement but not necessarily large in volume. Shock, encephalopathy, extensive hemorrhage, and poor prognosis should be expected” (4th National 2). The Ebola virus is named after a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) in Africa, where it was first recognized. The Ebola virus is closely related to the Marburg virus.

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Both are members of a relatively new family of viruses called Filoviradae. Ebola hemorrhagic fever is classified as a BSL-4 (biosafety level 4) agent, which is the most dangerous in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classification system. BSL-4 agents are exotic agents that pose a high risk of life-threatening disease, and for which there is no vaccine or therapy. “Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a severe, often-fatal disease in humans and non human primates (monkeys and chimpanzees) that has appeared sporadically since its initial recognition in 1976” (CDC 1). Common human perceptions of this virus are, for the most part, accurate in that it is a highly contagious agent that can cause a fatal disease called Ebola hemorrhagic fever.

Although, there are a few misconceptions such as the belief that the virus can be transmitted from person to person through the air, which is not known to be true, and later explained. Also, contrary to popular assumptions, humans are not carriers of the virus, as we are with the influenza virus, 2 for example. The initial patient in an outbreak must have somehow contracted the virus from an infected primate carrier, such as a monkey, which will also be explained. Listed, are some of the more pertinent outbreaks of Ebola hemorrhagic fever. In 1976, the first and largest outbreak of the virus occurred in Yambuku, Zaire, killing 88% of 318 infected patients.

This species was named respectively, Ebola-Zaire, and has appeared in four other outbreaks to date. The Ebola-Sudan species appeared, naturally in the cities of Nzara and Maridi, Sudan also in 1976. The death toll was much less than the Zaire outbreak at 53% of 284 infected persons. In 1995, the Ebola-Zaire species struck again, killing 81% of 315 reported cases. This time, the outbreak occurred in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo, which was the new name Zaire. In the United States, to date, no case of the disease in humans has ever been reported, not to say the virus has never been here.

In 1989, 1990, and 1996, Ebola, or at least a weaker species of the virus was brought into quarantined facilities in Virginia, Texas, and Pennsylvania by infected monkeys imported from the Philippines. In both 1989 and 1990, four humans were infected with the virus, but did not become ill. Obviously, the species of the virus, now called Ebola-Reston, that entered the United States was a much weaker species than those in Zaire and Sudan. “The Reston outbreak served as an important wake-up call for the U.S. Army and CDC research groups.

Among other things, it demonstrated the need for better diagnostic tools” (4th National 10). Transmission of the Ebola virus is highly dependent upon the initial infection of a human. It is hypothesized that the first infected human in an outbreak must have been infected by an animal. This first infected patient in an outbreak is called the index case. At this point, humans can transmit the virus from person to person in several ways.

People can contract the Ebola virus through contact with the blood and/or secretions of an infected person. For this reason, this virus is commonly spread among family members in the course of feeding, holding, or otherwise caring for infected persons in any way that they would come in contact with such 3 secretions. Also, people can be exposed to the virus through contact with objects, such as needles, that have been contaminated with infected secretions. The most common means of transmission of the Ebola virus is the spreading of the virus throughout a health-care setting, such as a clinic or hospital, this situation is known as amplification. In African hospitals, for example, where funds and supplies are scarce, patients are often cared for without the use of necessary protective equipment, such as masks, gowns, and gloves. Many cases of exposure to the virus has occurred when health care workers have treated infected persons without using this essential clothing.

In addition, many of the needles used for injections to the ill were not of the disposable type. When health care workers used the needles in multiple vials and on multiple patients, they may not have been sterilized, but merely rinsed before reinsertion. If needles or syringes become contaminated with the virus and are then reused, numbers of people can become infected. The Ebola-Reston Virus species , that appeared in a primate research facility in Virginia, may have been transmitted from monkey to monkey through the air in the facility (CDC 2). The Ebola virus has displayed the ability to be spread through airborne particles (aerosols) under research conditions, but this type of transmission has not been documented among humans in a real-world setting, such as a household or hospital. “The Ebola virus appears to have an incubation period of four to sixteen days, after which time the impact is devastating” (Carson 1).

“One of the few things known about Ebola was that during the initial stages of infection, the virus floods the bloodstream with a glycoprotein–a protein with sugars attached” (Glausiusz 1). This stage apparently occurs during the incubation period. Researchers have recently learned that the glycoprotein is part of a two-pronged attack that leaves the victim bleeding and defenseless. There are actually two forms of the glycoprotein. The first, is released into the bloodstream, and the second, a much larger version, stays attached to the virus. The free form has been found to attach itself to a type of white blood cell called a neutrophil.

The neutrophils are the immune system’s front line troops. 4 They attack and destroy invading viruses and signal the other fighters for the immune system, such as the B cells that make antibodies, and the T cells that kill virus-infected cells. Experts suspect that by binding to the neutrophils, the glycoprotein cripples them so they cannot attack or signal other cells. This process opens the gateway for Ebola to attack the human body. The virus now begins its assault on the body.

It attacks the body’s blood vessels, using the attached, larger glycoprotein as a key to enter endothelial cells, the cells that line the interiors of our veins and arteries. Ebola invades and sabotages the cells’ genetic machinery in order to reproduce itself, it also damages endothelial cells, making blood vessels leaky and weak. The patient first bleeds and then goes into shock as falling blood pressure leaves the circulatory system unable to pump blood to vital organs. Long before the immune system can build up enough antibodies to retaliate, a process that can take weeks, most Ebola HF victims bleed to death. The signs and symptoms of Ebola hemorrhagic fever are not the same for all patients, but some of the more common early and late symptoms are listed.

Within a few days after the end of the incubation period, most Ebola patients experience: high fever, headache, muscle aches, stomach pain, fatigue and diarrhea. Some early Ebola patients have: sore throat, hiccups, rash, red and itchy eyes, bloody vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. Within one week after the end of the virus’s incubation period, most patients encounter: chest pain, shock and finally death. Also, some late Ebola patients experience complete blindness, internal hemorrhaging, hemorrhaging through the skin, and bleeding from the ears, nose and mouth. Diagnosing Ebola hemorrhagic fever in a person who has been infected only a few days is difficult because early symptoms, such as red and itchy eyes, and a skin rash, are nonspecific to the virus and are seen in other patients with diseases that occur much more frequently. If a patient has a combination of the symptoms described above, and Ebola virus is suspected, several laboratory test should be performed promptly.

These include a blood film examination, 5 a blood culture, and if the patient has bloody diarrhea, a stool culture should also be performed. Some of the more common and accurate diagnostic tools for the detection of the Ebola virus are the ELISA (enzyme-linked-immunosorbent serologic assay), PCR (polymerase chain reaction, and a virus isolation procedure can be used to diagnose a case of Ebola hemorrhagic fever within a few days of the onset of symptoms. Currently, there is no standard treatment for Ebola hemorrhagic fever, although most patiens receive supportive therapy. This consists of balancing the patient’s fluids and electrolytes, maintaining their oxygen levels and blood pressure, and treating them for any complicating infections. It is now known that “The viruses [Ebola and Marburg] can be inactivated by heating at 60C for 1 hour, by acid treatment at pH 4 or lower, and by organic solvents such as ether” (Johnson 1).

“Scientists and researchers are faced with the challenges of developing additional diagnostic tools to assist in early diagnosis of the disease and ecological investigations of Ebola virus and the disease it causes. In addition, one of the research goals is to monitor suspected areas in order to determine the incidence of the disease. More extensive knowledge of the nature of the virus’ reservoir and how it is spread must be acquired to prevent future outbreaks effectively” (CDC 3). “Filoviruses continue to provide a difficult area for virologists to develop strategies to protect the public and can be seen as the prototype of emerging viruses. We do not understand their natural maintenance strategy and thus cannot predict their emergence nor the factors that might reasonably be expected to increase the risk of their presenting problems to the world. Given our profound ignorance of these viruses, the limited number of episodes we have studied, and their lethal potential, it seems a safe bet that we have additional unpleasant surprises in store.

The task now is to gamer [sic] continuing support to understand these elusive agents now that the epidemic has been controlled and public interest has faded” (Peters 3). Bibliography Biosafety and Emerging Infections: Key Issues in the Prevention and Control of Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. Proc. of the 4th National Symposium on Biosafety. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1997. Carson, Cully C., and Tracy Irons-Georges “Ebola Virus.” Magill’s Medical Guide.

1 (1998): 511-512. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever.” Disease Information:Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers: Fact Sheets. Atlanta: CDC, 1999. Glausiusz, Josie. “Ebola’s Lethal Secrets.” Discover Jul.

1998: 24. Johnson, Karl M. “Filoviradae: Ebola and Marburg Viruses.” Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases (1989): 1303-1305. Peters, C.J. “Emerging Infections: Ebola and other Filoviruses (Emerging and Reemerging Global Microbial Threats).” The Western Journal of Medicine 164 (1996): 36-39.

Ebola Virus

The Ebola Virus The Ebola Virus is an extremely deadly virus found in Africa. There have been multiple outbreaks across Africa and one in the United States. The Ebola virus basically causes uncontrollable bleeding externally and internally. Then your organs become liquefied. This usually results in death( The following report contains info on the characteristics and history of the Ebola Virus.

After being infected with the Ebola virus it takes 2-21 days to take effect. It depends if you had a direct infection, such as a hypodermic needle or a syringe, or a less direct infection, such as close contact(`musilam/bio3.html 3). This is just enough time to get on a plane and spread it to people in another area. This could result in an outbreak in other parts of the world. There have been no known cases of this happening though ( 2).

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The Ebola virus has severe and disgusting symptoms. After the time it takes to take effect the Ebola virus starts out by showing symptoms like the flu. You develop a sore throat, fever, weakness, muscle pain, and headaches. As the virus progresses vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and limited kidney and liver function. After about 14 days of infection, bleeding becomes uncontrollable. Blood passes through eyes, lips, nose, ears, and skin. You also experience mental confusion (`tnorswor/index.html).

The Ebola virus has effects on your internal body as well. You would also experience internal bleeding. After about five days of infection your internal organs basically liquefy. The Ebola virus destroys the cells in your liver and the lining of all internal organs. At this point you will most likely die of the virus. The people who survive the virus usually had a less direct infection like close contact.

The Ebola virus transmits easily from person to person. Most people get the Ebola virus from close contact. The Ebola virus has cells on the infected person’s skin, then if you touch the person and touch an opening on your body, such as your mouth, you can be infected. This frequently occurs to hospital care workers before the patients are diagnosed with Ebola. Also family members who care for the infected person without the aid of a hospital often get Ebola.

Bodily fluids such as blood, vomit, secretions, or semen also transmit Ebola. People who clean this up may also become infected. Shared hypodermic needles or syringes are a more direct way to get the virus and result in a smaller time for the virus to take effect. Disposing of an Ebola virus casualty is also a way to catch the virus because viral presence remains after death.

“The Ebola virus is negatively stranded RNA type. It requires a polymerse transformation to reproduce. This leaves the virus subject to genetic code errors creating subtypes of Ebola. There are four known subtypes of the Ebola virus. The original subtype was Ebola Zaire (”
Diagnosis of the Ebola virus is very hard to do. You need a specialized laboratory to perform the blood test. These laboratories are not available commercially, so basically only the government can do it. The lab is an extreme bio hazard. It is conducted under maximum containment conditions.

There is no specific treatment or cure for the Ebola virus. Given it has about a 90% death rate, and this is really, really high. The treatment that is given involves intensive nursing to replace lost body fluids and to prevent shock, renal failure, depletion of blood pressure. Mixing plasma and whole blood have been used but there were no appropriate clinical trials, so their effectiveness is unknown.

Prevention of the Ebola virus is more useful than the treatments. Improving sanitation is an important thing to do in rural African countries. Any victims need to be isolated as soon as possible. Quarantining of infected people from others plays a major role. People who have been in close contact with the infected person need to be isolated at the first sign of the Ebola virus symptoms. Hospitals need to properly dispose of waste and corpses. Also, better communications so there can be improved reporting outbreaks. There are no international regulations for the Ebola Virus right now(

The origin of the Ebola virus is unknown. Several studies have been done but the results are not showing anything. The virus was thought to have originated from animals. It was named after the Ebola River in Zaire near the first outbreak. The first picture of the Ebola virus was taken in 1976 at 160,000 x magnification.

Ebola Zaire, the first strain identified, was the first outbreak of the virus. In 1976 the Ebola virus quickly took the lives of many citizens of Zaire. There were 550 cases and 340 fatalities (including Ebola Sudan outbreak in 1976). Of the people infected 88% died.

In 1995 there was another outbreak of Ebola Zaire in Kikwit, Zaire. This had 293 cases and 233 deaths and an 80% mortality rate.

The most recent Ebola outbreak occurred ion 1996. In Gabon there was an outbreak of Ebola Zaire. It started when children found dead chimpanzees and took them home to eat. After the family and other members of the village got the Ebola virus. A separate incident involved a hunter living in a remote logging camp who died of Ebola ten days after returning to the forest. 95 people were infected, 70 people died. The virus had a 74% death rate.

The second strain identified was the Ebola Sudan. This was discovered around the same time of the first Ebola Zaire outbreak of 1976. The 1976 Ebola Sudan outbreak infected 550 people and killed 340 (including Ebola Zaire of 1976). It had a 53% death rate. The last outbreak to date of Ebola Sudan was in 1979. It happened in Sudan around the area of the first outbreak. This brought 22 deaths and more than 60% death rate.

The third strain to be identified was Ebola Reston, named after a city in Virginia where the virus was found. This was the only outbreak in the United States and luckily it only affected monkeys, it was not harmful to humans. The virus did appear to be air-born. One 149 workers came into contact with the monkey shipped from the Philippines. No one became ill, but two did develop antibodies for Ebola Reston.

The last strain of Ebola found was Ebola Tai. An outbreak of the Ebola Tai occurred in Nov. of 1995 in Cot d’Ivoire. Many chimpanzees living in the Tai forest died. On Nov.24, 1995 a Swiss researcher contacted the disease from an infected chimpanzee in the forest. She was sent to a Swiss hospital where she recovered. An autopsy of the Chimpanzee showed effects similar to the Ebola virus.

The Ebola virus is a member of a family of RNA viruses know as Filoviruses, because they resemble thread. Filoviruses are among the most mysterious viruses in the world because their natural history remain unknown and their pathogenesis poorly understood. The family consists of Ebola and Marburg viruses. Marburg and Ebola both cause hemorrhagic fevers (

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