Ebola

Clinical Symptoms

• Incubation period—Approximately 43 days (It can be as little as 21 days)
• Acute illness with rapid onset of fever (104⁰ – 109⁰ F)
• Sore throat
• Massive vomiting
• Diarrhea (3 gallons/day)
• Poor Kidney Function
• Poor Liver Function
• Internal & External bleeding (bleed out of every body opening)
• Lyses or bursting of Red Blood Cells (RBC)

Treatment

Hydrate
Slow vomiting & diarrhea
Antibodies boost the immune system. They do not kill viruses

Structure

• 850 -920 nanometers
• Single strand of RNA virus
• Non-Segmented
• Long thread-like linear molecule
• Has an extra protein coat

Ebola is a member of the filovirus family (Marburg virus). Filovirus can cause severe hemorrhagic fever, which symptoms are, fever, vomiting, prostration, petechial hemorrhages, hypotension, and muscle pain. There are only two members of this virus family (Ebola & Marburg virus). Ebola have five strains with one Ebola-Reston not causing severe disease in humans.

The Filovirus was discovered in 1967 in Germany and Yugoslavia. Researchers were analyzing tissue of a green monkey, which had the disease. Researchers contracted the disease. This virus was named after where the outbreak occurred Marburg, Germany. Ebola was first discovered in 1976 in Africa. There is some evidence that it was originally contracted from bats. Once humans are infected, it spreads from person to person.
Death rate is 23 to 90%. To reduce risk of contracting from another human wear PPE, do not have contact with bodily fluids such as blood, and other secretions. Do not expose yourself to animals out of Africa, which may have the disease.

Currently the medical community is working on a vaccine. Researchers at Howard Hughes Medical Institute have developed at blood test (Virscan) which will tell doctors the patient complete viral history.

The information provided above was from my Microbiology class. In writing this blog, the CDC and MedicineNet.com were used as references. Please check out the video on PBS Frontline called “Ebola”. As additional information is available to our class, visit Microbiology page.