Ebola Virus

someone someone at mhc.mtholyoke.edu
Thu Apr 18 09:31:00 EST 1996


Ebola, is a virus named after a river in Zaire, its first site of 
discovery.  A usually fatal (up to 90%) filovirus which affects monkeys, 
apes and humans, it is a cause of viral hemmorrhagic fever--there are 
others.  Filoviruses are string-shaped, often with a little hook or loop 
at one end.  Another somewhat less deadly filovirus is the Marburg 
virus.  The family Filovidae is closely related to the rabies family.  
It attacks with great ferocity the liver cells, once inside a cell a 
single ebola virus can replicate itself so much that it ruptures the 
cell in about 8 hours.  Once infected the patient usually complains of a 
headache and dies with in a week (for Ebola Zaire).

	There are several known types or strains of ebola: Ebola Zaire 
(fatality rate of around 90%), Ebola Sudan (F.R. 60%), Marburg disease 
(F.R. 20-25%), Ebola Tai (not yet known to effect humans), Ebola Reston 
(not yet known to infect humans), and this new strain that the CDC 
claims is closley related to Ebola Reston, and also is believed cannot 
effect humans.

	Ebola is transmitted primarily by close contact with infected persons, 
and direct contact with infected bodily fluids.  Studys now indicate 
that it can be transmitted by air, but are under close investigation.  

	There is no none cure or vaccine for Ebola although there have been 
reports of Russian scientists who believe they have found the "cure" for 
Ebola Zaire, again futher studies are needed to confirm.

	The natural resevoir for the virus is still unknown, although the first 
known carrier of the disease was said to have caught it in Kitum Cave, 
which is on Mt. Elgon, Zaire.  Several expiditions were deployed, but 
still no known host has been found.

	I hope this information has provided you with some understanding of the 
Ebola Virus and if you want any further information please email me.


John Florek, Jr.
florekj at mtholyoke.edu

"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent 
less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her 
sweetness and respecting her seniority.





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