Ebola Virus is the new threat to humanity. The fatal illness is now spreading fear rapidly among the citizens of various countries ever since its recent outbreak in Liberia.
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) shares a frightening history since its outbreak in 1976. This happened in the region of Nzara and Yambuku. The virus was told to have first found in the village near the ‘Ebola’ River hence the name ‘Ebola viruses’.
Ebola are 5 in number:
The Ebola viruses are classified into five types by the research personals. The five types are namely
Not all of the Ebola are killers. BDBV, EBOV, and SUDV are most feared of all when the outbreak occurred. RESTV and TAFV can affect humans without any harmful side effects, illness, or death.
The African Fruit bats of the species Hypsignathus monstrosus; Epomops franqueti and Myonycteris torquata are known to be the natural hosts. Some animals like monkeys, antelopes, pigs, deer and chimpanzees are known to be affected with EVD.
The contraction of EVD:
These animals that have the EVD die on the forest floors, the carcass and bodily fluids lying around can spread the virus. The other animals coming in close contact during grazing are likely to be affected. The workers in animal farms are more prone to virus attack.
How Ebola Virus works?
According to Derek Gatherer – a researcher at Lancaster University, Ebola virus attacks the Immune system by depleting the CD4 and CD8 T lymphocytes. These are the most essential part of the immune system. Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbial Science at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in her interview with the CNN tells us that the Ebola virus is one of a kind. The virus has been called as a “transformer” since the virus is capable of changing its molecular type and affects a particular biological function of the victim’s body.
EVD Effect on Humans:
The onset of EVD in a person can be clarified with the following symptoms
EVD can also impair kidney and liver functions. The patients also display internal and external bleeding.
Incubation period and transmission of EVD:
According to Babatunde Fashola-State Governor of Babatunde, the incubation period of the virus is 2 to 21 days. He added that people well hydrated with electrolyte balance can survive the attack. The transmission of the virus is through bodily fluids like blood, Saliva, urine, feces, and other secretions.
The best ways to protect the health care workers are by wearing protective suits and gloves. According to WHO’s healthcare worker instructions, the dead carcasses should be buried deep into the ground or burnt. The blood stains in pillow and bed covers can also transmit the EVD disease. In case a death occurs, the person’s clothes, body bags, napkins, pillow and bedcovers are to be thoroughly incinerated. Disinfectants, sanitizers, and chlorine are to be used to wash hands and sterilize the area of the affected.
Diagnosis of the EVD:
The Diagnosis of the EVD can be done through a variety of tests. The types of tests involved are as follows:
A highly cautious methodology is to be observed while collecting and treating the samples. The Bio hazard rate of these samples is too high to be tested under regular conditions. The analysis is to be done strictly under contained environments.
Is there a treatment or a drug for Ebola?
Yes there is, CNN reporter Stephanie Elam in her interaction with the research scientists of TSRI tells us the scientists has found a new drug to stop the Ebola virus from transforming. The drug’s name is ‘Zmapp’. The scientists have tested the drug on 2 Americans infected with EVD. The patients have shown considerable improvements. The most interesting fact about the drug is that it is not authorized to be tested on humans until 2015.
The bottom line – Ebola has caused quite a stir among the world populations. I am sure this is a situation where the manufacturers of hand-sanitizers and disinfectants can show a rapid growth in sales of their products. A simple question for you, “Have we entered into a phase where even Viruses are intelligent enough to shape shift?”