Ebola Essay, Research Paper
The Ebola virus is a deadly virus that causes bleeding and the destruction of internal tissue in humans. The Nova movie was about an Ebola epidemic in Zaire, Africa during the summer of 1995. As a result of this epidemic two hundred and forty-two of the three hundred and fifteen people infected, died. A previous outbreak occurred in the same area 19 years earlier, and according to the movie, the strands of Ebola and its symptoms were virtually identical. Once an epidemic begins there is no safe place on earth and a military quarantine must be imposed. The epidemic in Zaire was traced to a surgical procedure on a lab worker in a local hospital. Patient zero (the first person to show symptoms of the disease) was narrowed down to be Gaspard Menga. As a result of constant contact with the dead during the traditional burial performed in Zaire, the virus spread rapidly, infecting and killing most of the victim s family. When an outbreak occurs an international team of doctors travel to the spot to eradicate the virus as efficiently and rapidly as possible. When a person is discovered to have or been killed from the virus, a group of medical students immediately trace all possible people who might have had contact with that person. Usually the family members are the ones who have contact with them and they are typically the first tracked down by the students and the first to contract the virus. When a person is alive but diagnosed with the virus they are quarantined to a hospital where they wait to die. The workers in the hospital wear four layers of clothing and the hospital itself is surrounded by a moat of bleach as an attempt to contain the virus. In Zaire, a nurse contracted the disease as the virus appeared to be eliminated from the village. The doctors felt that it was partly their fault that she got Ebola and wanted to do anything that they could to save her. There were several people in the hospital who appeared to have developed an antibody to the virus and survived the disease. The local doctors believed that a blood transfusion with the nurse and the blood containing these antibodies would save her. However, the foreign doctors disagreed because the could not test for the multiple diseases that the blood could also contain. They were also not completely sure that the nurse did in fact have Ebola. Without notifying the foreigners, the local doctors performed the transfusion and it was successful. The nurse survived and they were able to cure the remaining people who had been infected with the virus. According to the movie, the first case of Ebola was in Germany during 1957. In Zaire, however, Ebola was for the first time proven to be able to exist outside of the body and be airborne. Ebola came to the United States for the first time in 1989, from a monkey. The military, however, quickly eradicated the virus and prevented it from spreading by killing all of the monkeys in the lab. It is not known why some can survive such a deadly disease and there is no proven cure for it. Ebola although, is a deadly disease that if not contained and eradicated quickly, has the potential to do world destruction.
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