News and Information on Infectious Disease
Recent Comments

Ebola virus is an uncommon viral infection which kills nearly 90% of its victims. Researchers from National Institutes of Health (NIH), have identified five types of Ebola virus and discovered something in the virus that causes the significant internal bleeding that almost always results in death. The viral glycoprotein is believed to destroy endothelial cells that line the walls of the blood vessels.

Update: Where is the Ebola Outbreak?

The Ebola virus has claimed the lives of almost 7,000 as of November 2014 and the number of people infected infected with the deadly virus has risen to over 16,000 known cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Recent data indicates there were as many as 16,169 cases reported in those three West Africa countries, and roughly three dozen reported cases in Nigeria, and one non-fatal case in Senegal.

Liberia has the most documented cases of infections and deaths , however the pace of new infections is currently decreasing. On the other hand, the number of infections and deaths has been steadily increasing in Sierra Leone.

The World Health Organization has set ambitious goals to reduce the number and rate of infection in West Africa and, as of December 1, 2014 both Guinea and Liberia have reportedly isolated 70% of the patients and burying 70% of the victims of the Ebola virus and thus met their goal. Liberia has implemented quarantine and other controls that have enabled them to reduce the number of newly reported infections from 60 per day to 10 per day.

Sierra Leone, unfortunately is not on track to control the disease’s spread and are reporting 80 to 100 new cases of Ebola infection per day, according to the WHO. They are asking for 1,000 new hospital beds to help care for the patients while they are working to establish better methods of treatment. The virus and the disease has recently been contained in the northern district and a western zone of Sierra Leone, including the capital city of Freetown.

Update 1: How do you get the Ebola Virus?

The recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and now with cases being reported in Spain and United States there are more people concerned about ways to prevent contracting Ebola.

Causes of Ebola

Ebola hemorrhagic fever (also called Ebola fever) is the human disease associated with the Ebola virus and it happens when the virus enters the body.

Four of the five Ebola viruses cause disease in humans. The four deadly variants are: Bundibugyo virus, Ebola virus, Sudan virus, and Taï Forest virus. So far, only parts of Africa have reported the disease in humans, but the Reston type of Ebola virus (not harmful to humans) has now been identified by scientists in the Philippines.

Symptoms of Ebola

The mean incubation period for Ebola virus is 12.7 days after initial infection, but can take up to 25 days, according to the CDC. Within the incubation period, it is common to experience general influenza-like symptoms including general malaise, high temperature, body aches and intense headaches.

More Ebola virus symptoms include:

  • sore, achy joints that can be diagnosed as arthritis
  • lower back pain and overall sore joints
  • chills and clammy feeling
  • diarrhea, nausea, vomiting – upset stomach
  • tiredness, listless feeling, malaise
  • high body temperature and fever
  • headache or migraine-like pain
  • sore tongue, mouth and throat

Ebola virus Danger

Ebola victim being treated by two doctorsResearchers discovered that when a particular part of the protein is altered with sugars it can destroy human and monkey endothelial cells in labratory tests.

The protein additionally triggered individual blood vessels to become weak and leak, which might lead to the internal bleeding observed in humans afflicted with the ebola virus. Glycoprotein separated from the Reston strain of Ebola (that which is now found in Philippines), in spite of this, affected only monkey blood vessels, perhaps explaining why the strain never caused disease in humans.

When the scientists made varieties of glycoprotein that didn’t have the dangerous elements, the protein did not destroy the blood vessels but was nevertheless activated. The protein seems to provide two attributes: it focuses Ebola to the endothelium, and after adequate glycoprotein has been produced by the afflicted cells, it eliminates those cells contributing to the hemorrhagic results which have been documented hundreds of times.

How the ebola virus attacks human internal organs The recent Ebola outbreaks happening in West Africa come at the worst time, as people most likely to contract the Ebola virus are struggling to stay alive while facing terror threats from militias and seemingly endless wars.

Researchers have cautioned that due to the unparalleled devastation of habitat and environmental damage, the world will probably encounter outbreaks of emerging diseases, probably equally deadly to Ebola virus.

3 Responses to What is Ebola Virus?

    • DeadlyMicrobes says:

      As of today (April 2015) Ebola cannot be contracted through the air. Human-to-human transmission only happens after direct contact of the blood or bodily fluid of an infected person. There have been cases reported in the U.S. but the infected persons were quarantined before further infections occurred. Most cases have been reported in Africa but there have been some reports in Europe and North America. We’re not aware of any reported cases of Ebola in Central America.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.