The Ebola Virus

1608 words 7 pages
The Ebola Virus

INTRODUCTION

The most deadly killers on this earth are too small to see with the naked eye. These microscopic predators are viruses. In my report, I will answer many basic questions concerning one of the fastest killing viruses, the
Ebola virus. Questions such as "How does it infect its victims?", "How are
Ebola victims treated?", "How are Ebola outbreaks controlled?" and many others related to this deadly virus.

GENERAL INFORMATION

The Ebola virus is a member of the negative stranded RNA viruses known as filoviruses. There are four different strains of the Ebola virus - Zaire
(EBOZ), Sudan (EBOS), Tai (EBOT) and Reston (EBOR). They are very similar except for small serological differences and gene sequence
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Recently, a skin test has been developed which can detect infections much faster. A skin biopsy specimen is fixed in a chemical called Formaline, which kills the virus, and is then safely transported to a lab. It is processed with chemicals and if the dead
Ebola virus is present, the specimen will turn bright red.

TREATMENT

No treatment, vaccine, or antiviral therapy exists. Roughly ninety percent of all Ebola's victims die. The patient can only receive intensive supportive care and hope that they can be one of the fortunate ten percent who survive. In November of 1995, Russian scientist claimed that they had discovered a cure for Ebola. It uses an antibody called Immunoglobulin G (IgG). They immunized horses with it and challenged them with live Ebola Zaire viruses. The scientists took their blood and used it as antiserum. With the antiserum, they have developed Ebola immune sheep, goat, pigs and monkeys. USAMRIID (USA
Medical Research Institute for Infections Disease) received some equine
Immunoglobulin and had some successes but fell short of the great claims of the
Russians. This discovery does give grounds for optimism that an effective cure for Ebola can be found.

CONTROL OF THE OUTBREAK

To control an outbreak of Ebola, you must prevent further spread of the virus. The CDC (Center for Disease and Control) usually sends a team of medical scientists to the area of

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