Biology the Ebola Virus the Term Paper

Total Length: 1089 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 3

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In fact, four workers tested positive for the Ebola virus, but it did not make them sick, and eventually the virus passed from their bodies. The scientists do not know why this occurred, but they did learn that Ebola travels through the air, as well as being spread by blood and blood contact.

At first, it seems as if the people working on the Ebola project are doomed. The virus is extremely deadly, and almost impossible to cure. Fifty to 90% of people infected with the disease will die from it, and death is not quick, it is quite long and extremely painful. The body's blood supply begins to clot, and then not clot, and the virus takes over major organs, such as the liver and intestines, literally destroying them. It is a nasty virus, and in Africa when it broke out in 1976, it wiped out entire villages. Scientists do not know where it originated, how it travels, and why it suddenly disappears. They also do not know how it mutates, or why. It is a mystifying disease, and it is more frightening because it can become so deadly so quickly.

People do not really know about Ebola and what it can do, and perhaps if they did, there would be more fear and panic about the virus. For example, some people who come in contact with it, and are even infected with it, do not become sick, while others do. Health care professionals who worked with patients suffering from Ebola often did not get sick, while some others did. Some died, some did not. The virus seems to attack different people in different ways, and scientists are puzzled by these differences, as well. Ebola needs to be studied more fully, but understandably, many scientists do not want to work with Ebola because of the risks involved, and many do not want to work in the Level 4 biohazard environment that working with the virus necessitates.
This is not hard to understand, but it does mean that total understanding of this virus will not come any time soon, and that could have deadly consequences.

It is quite clear that Ebola is a deadly virus that could wipe out entire populations if it came into the United States (or any other country). It cannot be prevented or anticipated, and it has no real effective treatment. The author maintains this is because viruses are reacting to the Earth's population and change. He writes, "In a sense, the earth is mounting an immune response against the human species. It is beginning to react to the human parasite, the flooding infection of people, the dead spots of concrete all over the planet, the cancerous rot -outs in Europe, Japan, and the United States [...]" (Preston 406). While the Ebola Reston outbreak did not kill any humans, it certainly could have, and if a strain like it returns to the United States, the results could be catastrophic. Clearly, more study must go into the Ebola virus, so that scientists and medical professionals can understand it, and somehow learn how to treat it.

References

Editors. "Questions and Answers about Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever." Centers for Disease Control. 2005. 23 Nov. 2007. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/ebola/qa.htm

Preston, Richard. The Hot Zone. New York:….....

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