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Ebola Virus Essay

Ebola, a major threat to today’s society, is threatening all parts of today’s culture. In this paper, one will be presented with six major points of analysis. The first an outbreak timeline, the next three are a basic overview of the deadly virus. In the fifth, one will be presented with what things are being blamed for these violent outbreaks. And in the sixth and final point, one will be shown what is being done to better the situation. It is over in a matter of days. The victim staggers, disoriented and exhausted, and collapses in a fever. His eyes turn bright red, and he starts vomiting blood. Within a matter of hours, he “crashes” and “bleeds out” surcumming to agonizing death with blood seeping from his eyes, ears, and other orifices. At autopsy, pathologists discover, aghast, that the patient’s internal organs have disintegrated into an indistinguishable mass of bloodied tissue. The killer: A “hot” virus, a highly contagious and deadly microbe that has never been seen before, and has no known cure. (Bib5, CQ Researcher, 495)

In 1976 the first two Ebola outbreaks were recorded. In Zaire and western Sudan, five hundred and fifty people reported the horrible disease. Of the five hundred and fifty reported three hundred and forty innocent people died. Again in 1995 Ebola reportedly broke out in Zaire, this time infecting over two hundred and killing one hundred and sixty. (Bib4, Muslim, 1) Can Ebola make it to the U.S.? Well, the answer to that question is yes. In fact it has, in 1989 in a rural town in Washington named Gabon. There a shipment of Philippines monkeys was received. It was later discovered that the shipments of monkeys were contaminated with the Ebola virus. The fortunate part is that this strain only infected monkeys and not humans. (Bib3, Ebola, 1) Ebola is part of new rising viral infections, filoviruses, arenaviruses, flaviviruses, and bunyaviruses are the viruses responsible for causing viral hemorrhagic fevers. All the forms of viral hemorrhagic fever begin with the fever and the muscle aches.

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These diseases usually progress until the patient becomes very ill with respiratory problems, severe bleeding, kidney malfunctions, and shock. The conclusions of the viral hemorrhagic fever can range from mild illness to death. (Bib5, Ebola Paper, 1) 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 palates. The resulting symptoms are bleeding, especially in the nose, abdomen, and pericardium. Capillary leakage appears to lead to the loss of intervascular volume, bleeding, shock, and acute respiratory disorder seen in fatal cases. Patients basically die of intractable shock. Those with a severe illness often have fevers and are delirious, combative, and difficult to control. (Bib4, Muslim, 2)

The Ebola virus is transmitted through contact with the bodily fluids of those infected. After infection, people develop the symptoms within 21 days. Ebola’s tell-tale signs are flu-like symptoms followed by vomiting, diarrhea, and profuse bleeding from the skin, ears, mouth, nose, and rectum. Infected people’s internal organs often disintegrate. There is no known cure for Ebola, which kills up to ninety percent of all those infected. (Bib2, Ebola Outbreak Spreads in Zaire, 244) 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. (Bib6, Should we be Scared? 1) The Ebola virus has become an unwelcome reminder that, for all its advances, modern medicine has yet to win the war against infectious diseases. (Bib1, CQ Researcher, 491)

In order for the Ebola virus to thrive, it must infect an animal or plant without killing it. Once a virus kills its host, it dies too. Therefore, there must be a host that the virus infects but does not kill. Once experts discover Ebola’s natural host, they can teach people, how to avoid it. (Bib2, Ebola Virus Outbreak Spreads in Zaire, 245) Zoologist Christophe Boesch, of the Swiss Institute of Zoology, and his team have been studying the chimps since 1979. The team performed an autopsy on one chimp that had died of the strange illness and discovered that it had suffered from a hemorrhagic fever. Eight days later, one of the scientists who helped with the autopsy became sick. She survived, but her blood samples showed that she had been infected with Ebola. (Bib2, Ebola Virus Outbreak Spreads in Zaire, 245)

But, what is to blame in the outbreaks of these horrible diseases? Experts believe that the Ebola epidemic in Zaire happened in part because hospitals there lack common medical supplies, such as surgical gloves, masks, new hypodermic syringes to inject medicines, and clean water. Ill-equipped doctors and nurses became infected by coming in contact with the bodily fluids of sick patients they treated. The medical personnel went on to infect other patients and people they know, triggering the epidemic. (Bib2, Ebola Virus Outbreak Spreads in Zaire, 244) Experts also believe that what remains of the surveillance systems is inadequate to deal with emerging diseases like Ebola. (Bib1, CQ Researcher,494)

The American legislatures at this time see no reason to spend extra money since the Ebola virus is not really a threat to the United States. So no research is being done, at least in the U.S. (Bib4, Muslim, 1) According to researchers all over the world, there are some simple steps the governments can take to make progress against Ebola. For starters, more money will fix a big part of the problem. The Ebola virus, as mysterious and fatal as it is, can be stopped and destroyed if we spend more money on research. The spread of knowledge about the Ebola virus is expected to solve another big part of the problem, if we do not try to get third world countries up to today’s standards, we are not only threatening the United States but also the world. (Bib4, Muslim, 1)

Hospital staff in Zaire will be instructed by the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention about how to limit the spread of the disease and proper ways for containment of the virus. Most important, the CDC will try to find the source of the infection. (Bib3, Ebola, 1) It is clear that prevention of a worldwide 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. (Bib4, Muslim, 2) In conclusion, one has seen the facts as horrible and gory as they are, but it is the truth and I believe it is our job as citizens of America to protect our children and all those around the world as well as ourselves, so start educating now.

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