Ebola Virus Disease Analysis

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In March 2014 the world was hit by the news that there had been an outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the west of Africa. Although this is not the first outbreak of this disease, it is the most severe outbreak we have ever seen since its discovery in 1976. This essay aims to talk about what the EVD is, the current epidemic and the risk for people around the world.

Ebolavirus is named after the Ebola River in Zaire (now The Democratic Republic of Congo) in 1976. The first outbreak of EVD infected over 300 people in Zaire and Sudan and had a mortality rate of 54% (Stanford University). The natural host for Ebola has never been confirmed though it has recently been suggested that fruit bats, a common choice of bush meat, could be the
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The main areas of infection are the lymphatic organs, liver, kidneys and reproductive organs. Massive blood loss will occur due to capillary leakage and bleeding. Most deaths due to EVD are caused by multiple organ failure and shock from blood loss (123helpme.com). The Ebola virus can affects the host’s immune system. The virus has the ability to infect and multiply within immune cells, making the immune system incapable of destroying the virus without destroying itself. Ebolavirus can have several viral strands in a single host cell, an ability not even the most sophisticated viruses, such as HIV, have …show more content…
A healthcare worker passed the disease from the village of patient zero across the border beginning the outbreak. The areas hit worst are areas with limited access to healthcare and pop up clinics have had to be set up to give patients a place to fight the disease.
There is no licenced treatments for Ebola as yet so quarantined patients will be given fluids via intravenous therapy and oxygen to support their organs while they fight off the disease. There are vaccines being developed and early human trials have shown no major issues (CIDRAP). Mass production of a vaccine will cost millions, and with the efficiency of the new Ebola vaccines still unconfirmed debates have been started over whether or not hundreds of thousands of doses should be created at once with risk of having to abandon the whole lot if it’s ineffective. The general consensus following a WHO meeting in Switzerland at the beginning of October was that yes, the risk of mass producing the vaccine at the same time as trials were being held was worth it if there was a chance that it could end the epidemic

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