Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever Essay

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Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (Ebola HF) is a severe, often fatal disease. It is known to be one of the most malicious viral diseases known to humankind. The virus can infect both humans and animal such as gorillas, monkeys, pigs, and bats. The virus was first recognized in 1976, and has had four epidemics since then. The first two outbreaks in western Sudan and in Zaire were severe, and resulted in over 550 cases and 340 deaths. The third outbreak which took place in Sudan, was minimal compared to the rest, it resulted in only 34 cases and 22 deaths. The most recent outbreak was in Kikwit and 316 deaths were reported. A number of the outbreaks took place in a healthcare setting, and were amplified due to poor nursing, and the use of unsanitary supplies. The virus can be transmitted in several ways; contact with the host, direct contact with infected blood and or tissues, direct contact with an infected body, sexual contact with an infected, and an infected mother to her unborn or newborn baby. The symptoms of Ebola HF are quite monstrous and show up within two to twenty days after a person has been infected. The symptoms include dramatic increase in body temperature, muscle pain, weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, hiccups and stomach pain. Rashes will appear all over the body, along with bright red eyes, which will then be followed by internal and external bleeding. As unbearable as these symptoms may sound, there is still a percentage of the infected that survive this fever, which has many wondering why some patients live while others die rapidly.There is currently no known cure for Ebola HF, and existing medicines that fight viruses have not reacted well against the Ebola virus. Scientists and researchers are having many complications in the process of trying to cure and prevent the virus. They are still trying to develop new tools to assist in early stages of Ebola HF, as well as conduct ecological investigations of the Ebola virus and its possible reservoir. Thorough knowledge of the natural reservoir of Ebola virus and how the virus is spread must be acquired to prevent future outbreaks effectively. It was noted that the patients usually need intensive care as well as medications and fluids to be administered through a vein. Patients are also struck with bleeding problems, and may require fresh blood. Up to 90% of the infected die from the disease. However, patients usually die from low blood pressure, rather than from blood loss. Survivors of the virus may have unusual problems, such as hair loss and