The Deadly Ebola Virus

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It’s a world class traveler, but it doesn’t have a passport. It’s highly contagious, but it can’t be cured. Ebola: (EBOV) the virus that has captured the attention of viewers worldwide with its recent outbreak. The World Health Organization has confirmed that 5,288 people have recently lost their lives to the contagious virus, and due to the rising death tolls, have marked this outbreak to be the deadliest. The sudden reappearance of EBOV has not only encouraged the continued effort towards containment, but has also sparked another concern: Could this plaguing virus be morphed into a weapon? Analysts are now considering EBOV’s potential to become the main ammunition in a revolutionary new form of warfare that would include infused bombs, also known as “dirty bombs” . If perfected, these bombs could explode and infect entire cities at one time. Researchers are beginning to test the disease for biological properties that would make it especially useful to terrorist organizations. If this technology were to be developed, not only would terrorist organizations have the power to infect and annihilate millions using Ebola, but they could also alter the way we fight our wars by replacing physical combat with biological warfare. While Ebola seems to have become the “hot topic” of the hour, for the vast majority it is a novel and unheard of concept. The question must be asked, what is Ebola, and what is it that makes it so scary? Ebola is a virus which causes the infected person to bleed both internally and externally. In addition to massive blood loss, it also causes the immune system to shut down, leading to the decomposition of the body’s vital organs. The filovirus ­pathogens and factors which cause the development of hemorrhagic f... ... middle of paper ... ... Web. 19 Sept. 2014. Palermo, Elizabeth. “Ebola Bomb: Possible, but not so easy to make.” Fox News. FOX News Network, 11 Aug. 2014. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. Uryadnikov, Sergey. MAKOUA, CONGO, AFRICA ­ SEPTEMBER 27: A Sign warns visitors that area is a Ebola infected Signage informing visitors that it is a ebola infected area. September 27, 2013,Congo, Africa. 2013. Web. 18 September 2014. Warren, Travis K., Shanta Bantia, Gianluca Pegoraro, Jay Wells, Rekha G. Panchal, Kelly S. Stuthman, Nicole L. Garza, Sean A. Van Tongeren, Lian Dong, Cary J. Retterer, Brett P. Eaton, Sina Bavari, Pravin Kotian, Xilin Chen, Brian R. Taubenheim, Lisa S. Welch, Dena M. Minning, Yarlagadda S. Babu, William P. Sheridan, and Shelley Honnold. “Protection against filovirus diseases by a novel broad­spectrum nucleoside analogue BCX4430.”Nature 508 (2014): 402­405. Web. 10 September 2014.

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