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
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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