Ebola Virus Essay Research Paper Ebola Virus

Ebola Virus Essay, Research Paper

Ebola Virus

With a ninety percent mortality rate, high mutation capability, and

opportunities for genetic re-assortment Ebola Zaire is one of the most deadly

and unforgiving viruses in the known world. A new family of viruses termed

filoviruses, was first discovered in 1967 Marburg W. Germany. Ebola Zaire was

first isolated in 1976 at Center of Disease Control, Porton Down in the UK, and

at the Institute for Tropical Diseases in Antwerp, Belgium. Immunological

uniqueness was found in the laboratory of Dr. Karl Johnson at the Center for

Disease Control Atlanta. Since then, there have been five more included in this


It is a biological level 4 pathogen, meaning there is no known cure. It

is one of the hardest and most deadly to work and study with. There are only

two labs in the world that are effectively capable of and authorized to handling

the hot virus. Both of these labs are in the United States: The United States

Army Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRID) in Reston, Virginia, and

the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ebola Zaire if great at what it does, to well. It kills so quickly that

the index case, the first person to start an outbreak is usually dead before the

proper authorities can show up and try to back track where it came from, defying

a decent strategy to keep people away from its natural reservoir. However, it

destroys the body so quickly that it doesn’t have a chance to spread very far,

at least in humans. This virus is a true paradox.

Ebola Zaire is a nasty little virus with no known cure. The natural

reservoir for the virus is still unknown. If the host could be found, a serum

could be made of the antibodies in its blood. It must have a stable host, one

in which it has reached equilibrium with. Collection of animal specimens is

currently underway to determine the source. The possible species in tropical

Africa are so numerous that a long and lucky search is likely to be required.

The virus itself can be decimated by Ultra Violet light, gamma rays,

irradiation, lipid solvents, detergents, and common disinfectants.

Moving quickly, thanks to modern technology and with no known hosts,

this virus could one day, become a world wide problem. Given that filoviruses

with increased potential for rapid evolution, because of the high error rate of

ribonucleic acid polymerases that they use to replicate their genomes could

easily become a problem. With major airports and fast planes the virus could

incubate in a body and spread all over the world very easily.


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