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Elboa Outbreak

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Ebola Outbreak
An Unknown Virus
Cedric Smith
Strayer University

I have been doing some research on Ebola, and here is what I have found out. Ebola and Hepatitis C have some similar symptoms; they both are spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of the infected patients and from needles that have been in contact with the patients. While contained outbreaks have happened, there have not been any mass outbreaks like with Ebola. My hypothesis is that should an Ebola outbreak occur in the US, we will be able to contain the outbreak.

Ebola first emerged in Sudan and Zaire in 1976. The first outbreak of Ebola (named after the Ebola River in Zaire) infected over 284 people, with a mortality rate of 53%. “Ebola,” however, is not just one Ebola: There are 4 distinguishable subtypes. The second Ebola virus emerged from Yambuku, Zaire, Ebola-Zaire (EBOZ), with the highest mortality rate of any of the Ebola viruses (88%), infected 318 people. Despite the tremendous effort of effort of experienced and dedicated researches, Ebola natural reservoir was never identified. The third strain of Ebola, Ebola Reston (EBOR), was first identified in 1989 when infected monkeys were imported into Reston, Virginia, from Mindanao in the Philippines. The few people who were infected with EBOR never developed Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF). The last known strain of Ebola, Ebola Cote d’Ivoire (EBO-CI) was discovered in 1994 when a female ethnologist performing a necropsy on a dead chimpanzee from the Tai Forest, Cote d’Ivoire, accidentally infected herself during the necropsy. The symptoms of Ebola can appear between two to 21 days after initial contact, and include fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat. These symptoms are followed by vomiting, diarrhea rash, and poor kidney and liver function. In some cases, a patient can also experience internal and external bleeding. There is no known cure or vaccine for Ebola. Patients are usually dehydrated, so they are given oral or intravenous fluid containing electrolytes. Patients must be quarantined. There are currently treatments and vaccines under development. There are many encouraging candidates, from the blood of Ebola survivors to drugs that use the latest developments in genetic engineering. None, however, have been properly tested for safety or effectiveness in human patients. Some have been tested in animal models of the disease and have successfully controlled the virus, but the gold standard for any human treatment, be it drug or vaccine, is testing in patients who have been affected by a disease. Since scientists can’t ethically intentionally infect volunteers with the Ebola virus, regulatory agencies like WHO (World Health Organization) are considering moving some of these treatments directly from animal studies to infected patients in West Africa. The WHO committee evaluated many different types of drugs but prioritized those that manufacturers are able to make in large amounts quickly. Drugs like ZMapp, the cocktail of antibodies that successfully treated the U.S. aid workers Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, are promising but only available in small quantities. Other antibody-based therapies have the same problem, as do cutting-edge treatments that seek out and bind to the virus’s genes. The committee therefore focused on other drugs that can be made in sufficient doses to test. These include favipiravir, brincidofivir, toremifine and interferons. While there is little evidence in humans about how well these drugs work against Ebola, their availability made them good candidates to begin testing in trials in West Africa. The best conspiracy theories are like enchanting mazes of logic whose thresholds, once crossed, are hard to return from. As ludicrous as they can appear from a distance, the closer you get, the stronger their gravity and the greater the danger of being sucked in. Some believe the Ebola outbreak started with sinister armed men poisoning wells, a successful attempt at mass murder that led to arrests in Liberia. Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, reckons the virus has been designed to affect only black people. “If you are black or brown, you are being selected for destruction.” Others believe it’s an escaped military bioweapon. Some people believed early on, especially in Liberia, that Ebola was a hoax perpetrated by their national government to get more foreign aid dollars. Data show that the virus is rapidly accumulating new mutations as it spreads through people. While moving through the human population in West Africa, the virus has been collecting mutations about twice as quickly as it did while circulating among animals in the past decade or so. The more time you give a virus to mutate and the more human-to-human transmission you will see. There have been worries that Ebola can become a pandemic like HIV and spread around the world. The mode of transmission is different between the two viruses. Ebola causes an acute infection which you either die from or you’re immune, you don’t carry the virus for long periods of time. Whereas with AIDS, a lot of people transmitting AIDS didn’t know they have it. It may be tempting for New Zealand to regard Ebola as someone else's nightmare. As things stand, we have immediate and plausible reassurances about our own wellbeing. National and international medical advice is that we are well placed. We can expect few cases, if any, to show up on our own shores, and really should be able to find and isolate them quickly enough if they do. But the problem is with the "as things stand" bit. Because in West Africa things aren't standing, they are subsiding and seriously. There is more evidence tonight that the panic over Ebola, the public fear of Ebola is getting in the way of the facts surrounding Ebola in this country, like the fact that it is very difficult to transmit. President Barack Obama and Kaci Hickox, a nurse who returned from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone on October 24, are attacking states’ efforts to keep returning health-care workers away from the public for 21 days. Governors in New Jersey, Illinois, Maine, Connecticut, and other states say it’s a wise precaution to prevent the virus from possibly spreading. But President Obama claims that these regulations are based on fear, not science. And Hickox has successfully defied Maine’s effort to restrict her to her home, bashing the quarantine as “unnecessary” and “not evidence-based.” Evidence shows that to protect the public, travelers from Ebola-plagued West Africa, especially doctors and nurses who battled the virus, should be quarantined for 21 days.

My conclusion is confirmed that the Ebola Outbreak is very serious and we are still learning about it and ways to prevent it and even have found some sort of treatment for it. But in fact, two American aid workers being treated for Ebola virus face a long, hard road to full recovery, but shouldn't endure long-term illness or disability because of their brush with the deadly pathogen. So you can beat the virus and go on to live a healthy life.

Reference:
AGYEPONG, I. A. Ghana Medical Journal. Sep2014, Vol. 48 Issue 3, p168-172. 5p. DOI: 10.4314/gmj.v48i3.10.
Choi, Jin Huk; Croyle, Maria A. BioDrugs. Dec2013, Vol. 27 Issue 6, p565-583. 19p
Herper, Matthew. Forbes.com. 10/18/2014, p1-1. 1p. , Database: Business Source Complete MARIA CHENG - AP Medical Writer. AP Financial News , 08/07/2014, Database: Newswires
Parkes-Ratanshi, Rosalind; Elbireer, Ali; Mbambu, Betty; Mayanja, Faridah; Coutinho, Alex; Merry, Concepta. PLoS ONE. Jul2014, Vol. 9 Issue 7, p1-8. 8p. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100333.
Peters, C.J., Peters, J.W., An Introduction to Ebola: The Virus and the Disease.
Sifferlin, Alexandra. Time.com. 10/21/2014, p1-1. 1p. , Database: Business Source Complete
Thompson, Dennis, HealthDay Consumer News Service, Aug 15, 2014…...

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