Ebola Virus Has A Long History

A recent pandemic that’s been occurring is the Ebola virus. A flashback from the past is what it seems, as people don’t live long enough to recover from this disease. Scientists are still clueless about the origins of Ebola. Ebola appears to be making its way around slowly but surely, targeting individuals from Africa and now spreading to one in Spain and three in North America.

This Ebola outbreak was first reported in March 2014  in West Africa, and has become the deadliest occurrence of the disease since its discovery.

Ebola was first found in 1976, appearing in Sudan and Zaire. The first incident occurred in Sudan, infecting over 284 people with a mortality rate of 53%. The second incident occurred in Yambuku, Zaire. Ebola-Zaire had the highest mortality rate among all of the Ebola viruses (88%), infecting over 300 people. Despite the tremendous effort of experienced and dedicated researchers, Ebola’s natural reservoir was never identified. The third strain of Ebola, Ebola Reston (EBOR), was first identified in 1989 when infected monkeys were imported into Reston, Virginia, from Mindanao in the Philippines. Fortunately, the few people who were infected with EBOR (seroconverted) never developed Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF). The last known strain of Ebola, Ebola Cote d’Ivoire (EBO-CI) was discovered in 1994 when a female ethologist performing a necropsy on a dead chimpanzee from the Tai Forest, Cote d’Ivoire, accidentally infected herself during the necropsy.

Ebola disables a cellular protein called tetherin that normally can block the spread of virus from cell to cell. Tetherin is one of the immune system’s responses to a viral infection. If working properly, tetherin stops the infected cell from releasing the newly made virus, thus preventing the virus to spread to other cells. However, the Ebola virus has developed a way to disable tetherin, blocking the body’s response and allowing the virus to spread. Without tetherin, cells are utterly hopeless to defend against the Ebola virus. The longer the infected carries this disease, the more damage the host will go through. Symptoms of this disease include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and a severe rash that leads to hemorrhaging, which shuts down the liver and the kidneys. Ebola also causes internal bleeding the longer it is left untreated.

Although there hasn’t been news of scientists coming close to a vaccination they are searching. There are treatment centers located in few parts of the world. These treatment centers are in Africa, Guinea, Liberia , Sierra Leone, and Alaska. Further studies are still being conducted to find a strong enough vaccine that will suppress this tragic disease. It is advised to keep out of physical contact with ones infected with the virus. Keep areas clean by sanitizing any and everything that someone can use. Use hand sanitizer after touching dirty surfaces, and remember to wash your hands thoroughly.

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