The Ebola Virus

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Africa has been the focus of several deadly diseases for many years. The poor living conditions and tight quarters within the villages make it very difficult for the people to fight off disease when it strikes. One such disease is hemorrhagic fever caused by Ebolavirus. The fever it causes upon infecting humans has a high fatality rate, meaning almost certain death. Since Africa is still a developing nation and is unable to provide efficient care to those that become ill, there is a high demand to quickly understand all aspects of how the virus works. This includes how it causes disease, how it develops within its host and spreads, and the most effective way to fight it.

Hemorrhagic fever is a deadly and fast acting disease that causes death in humans. It is caused by many different viruses, including those in Family Arenaviridae, Flaviviridae, Bunyaviridae, and Filoviridae. One of the deadliest in Family Filoviridae is Ebolavirus, which has a 25-90% fatality rate (Center for Disease Control. 2014). The virus is zoonotic; replicates in an animal host that does not experience disease, but can infect other susceptible species. Researchers have struggled to determine the way that Ebolavirus is spread to humans because its reservoir has not been identified. Some have speculated that fruit bats or arthropods, the most common reservoirs for zoonotic viruses, are the source due to their close proximity to humans in Africa. There is little research providing good evidence that this is true (Groseth, A., Feldmann, H., Strong, J.E. 2007). Ebolavirus has been responsible for several outbreaks in various countries since the 1970s, focused around Central Africa on its East Coast. The outbreaks have been traced to human contact with carcasse...

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