Currently, the world is facing an epidemic due to what is considered to be among the most dangerous viruses that humanity has ever faced: the Ebola hemorrhagic virus. Though there were announcements about experimental cures that were reported to be successful in terms of treating the virus, people around the world continue to die from Ebola. Though this virus is lethal, its symptoms are sometimes the same as less dangerous diseases, such as fever or flu. To settle anxiety about the spread of this virus, it is important to know what humanity currently deals with in terms of this epidemic.
Ebola was first discovered 1976 in Africa, on the banks of the Ebola river, after which the virus has been named. Back then, there were two major outbreaks of the virus, and this is how people learned about it. There exist several strains of the Ebola virus, some of them are deadly to people, and some are not.
The main symptoms of Ebola can appear in a period between the second and the 21st days of contamination, but usually it happens on the eighth through 10th day (CDC). Among the symptoms that appear in the first turn, one should mention fever and chills, strong headaches, pain in joints and muscles, and general weakness. These symptoms are not too different from those that people usually experience when catching a severe cold, or flu, so victims may even ignore these symptoms, or try to treat them as a common sickness. However, as the virus keeps progressing, a patient develops nausea with vomiting, diarrhea, chest and stomach pains, red eyes and rashes over the body, severe weight loss, and bleeding from almost all bodily orifices (Mayo Clinic).
The virus is usually transmitted either through blood or through waste. Contagion through blood usually takes place if a person consumes infested meat, or even touches it (for example, butchering can also lead to contamination). Also, there were cases when people got infected after stepping in feces of infected mammals, mostly bats (Mayo Clinic). The other ways of getting infected is through skin by receiving bodily fluids through pores.
Even though there is no specific cure from Ebola, doctors still try to treat it. In order to diagnose Ebola, doctors usually take tests on such diseases as cholera or malaria, because it is difficult to diagnose Ebola based solely on symptoms. After the diagnosis has been made, doctors start treating the symptoms, which includes eliminating infected cells, electrolytes, blood pressure medication, blood transfusions, oxygen therapy, and so on (WebMD).
Though Ebola is a highly dangerous disease, it is not likely that it will spread globally. It is most deadly in anti-sanitary conditions, which many African countries are notorious for. As for first world countries, even though there is still no universal cure, they are at much lesser risk than African countries. Though the symptoms of Ebola are severe and getting infected is not difficult, with the correct handling of an outbreak, the virus should not be able to spread.
“Signs and Symptoms.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 03 Oct. 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2014. .
“Ebola Virus and Marburg Virus.” Causes. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2014.
“Ebola Virus: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.
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Writing an Expository Essay
The outbreak of Ebola in Africa has been traced back to the Mops condylurus long tailed insect eating bat. This bat’s DNA was tested from the feces and was determined to have the virus. The first case of Ebola from this bats was in a toddler, who died from the virus in December 2013. While other bats have been suspected to be carrying the virus, tests haven’t confirmed it. It is very easy to have an outbreak of Ebola in a country like Africa because of the lack of water and sanitation makes is easily spread.
To spread Ebola all a human has to do is come in contact with any animal that has been infected, this animal infects the human. This means if an African family eats an animal that is infected then the entire family is infected. If the meat is cooked at the right temperature and stored properly there is less chance of getting it but this isn’t always the case. And Ebola can even be passed to fruit and other produce if an animal that is infected comes in contact with it, through saliva or feces.
This outbreak also has an effect on how people will get food. At the rate that the virus is spreading as many as a quarter of a million of people could be infected by March in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. While their food is scarce in these areas, if the outbreak gets worse then they will have problems getting food to them. While there is no medication or drugs to treat Ebola, there has been cases where survivors of virus can give the infected their blood and it helps. This is because the survivors have antibodies in their blood that they built up when they were infected and these antibodies can help patients that are infected.
The outbreak still isn’t over yet, as of January 16, 2015, there are over twenty one thousand cases in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. There are eight cases in Mali and one in the United Kingdom. Nigeria has seen twenty cases, Senegal one, Spain one, and the United States four. Most of these cases that are out of Africa are aid workers, nurses, and doctors that went to the country to help with the outbreak, which is one of the largest on record. Before that, the largest outbreak was in 1976 and there were only six hundred and two cases with four hundred and thirty one deaths.