HOW DOES EBOLA MAKE PEOPLE SICK, WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THE CURRENT 2019 EBOLA OUTBREAk AND IS THERE A CURE?
How did Ebola Virus get its name?
Ebola virus gets its name from the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo where it was first discovered. They are called Filoviruses because they look like a filament.
There are 6 different strains of Ebola Virus: Bundibugyo, Reston, Zaire, Sudan, Tai Forest and Bombali.
Where does Ebola Virus come from?
Ebola is usually only found in animals around Central Africa, fruit bats, gorillas, chimpanzees. If somebody goes out hunting and comes back with an animal for dinner, that animal could potentially have the Ebola virus, passing it on to anybody who eats the infected animal.
How does Ebola Virus make you sick?
Ebola does its damage by infecting 2 main cell types in the body. First it infects cells of the immune system like macrophages, causing them to release chemicals that promote inflammation and blood clotting throughout the body, leading to haemorrhaging. The virus also infects endothelial cells, thats cells lining the blood vessels, damaging their vascular integrity. As the virus replicates inside these cells, destroying them and moving through the bloodstream, your blood circulation is compromised, which damages many organs and tissues. Your gut lining is damaged and you get diarrhoea. Your liver gets damages and you cannot detoxify your blood. And as your blood vessels continue to degrade your blood pressure plummets and patients die from shock and multiple organ failure.
What is happening with the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
As of late May 2019, the number of people infected with Ebola was 1,866 and 1,241 of them had passed away, giving the viral disease a 67% fatality rate.
This isn’t as bad as the 2014 to 2016 Ebola outbreak which infected almost 28,637 people, killing more than 11,315, but the fatality rate in that case was only 40%.
Even though the current outbreak hasn’t touched nearly as many people, health officials on the ground are sounding the alarm to get more international attention.
How are citizens dealing with the outbreak?
A recent poll found out that 36% of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo don’t even believe that ebola exists. Furthermore, there have been violent attacks from local militia groups directed against the health care workers trying to treat people with Ebola, suppressing treatment and promoting spread of this disease. It appears that there is a lack of trust in the healthcare system and also a lack of education around the disease.
Is there a vaccine for Ebola Virus?
Health officials on the ground are now armed with an experimental vaccine called V920 that has been tremendously effective. But the number of vaccine doses are relatively limited, and it takes a while after getting the jab for it to work.
The experimental vaccine deployed last year is estimated to be 97.5 percent effective. It contains a harmless live attenuated virus engineered to express a glycoprotein of Ebola.
So n conclusion, Ebola is a seriously deadly disease with no cure. There is currently a serious outbreak of Zaire Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and vicious attacks on healthcare workers are making it difficult to control. Luckily, an effective vaccine has recently become available meaning that as we overcome this outbreak we will be prepared for the next one!
Use the links below to find relevant information regarding Ebola Virus
How Ebola Virus Functions
Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever
Current Ebola Outbreak
Ebola Fact Sheet
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