Essay: Analyzing the Ebola Virus

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¶ … Biological Terms Used

Apoptosis: denotes a programmed cell disintegration process, occurring in multicellular life forms.

Coagulopathy: represents a condition wherein the blood's clotting ability gets impaired.

Lymphocytes: a type of small white blood cell or leukocyte having a lone round nucleus, found particularly in lymphatic systems.

Malaise: general discomfort, uneasiness, or illness, whose precise cause cannot be easily identified.

Myalgia: muscular pain.

Parenteral: Common kinds of injections such as intravenous (injected into veins), intramuscular (injected into muscles), and subcutaneous (injected under skin).

Septic shock: Complication associated with an infection in which toxins trigger full-body inflammation.

Basic Background Information on Ebola

The Ebola virus comes under the Filoviridae or Filovirus family of viruses, which cause profuse internal and external bleeding or hemorrhagic fever. The disease is associated with very high body temperatures (Nall & Cherney, n.d). The Ebola virus's entry into patient body occurs via mucous membranes; it breaks parenterally or into the skin, and infects numerous kinds of cells. The incubation stage may be linked to route of infection (ten days (contact) against six days (injection)). The virus moves from the site of initial infection to the regional lymph nodes, ultimately reaching the adrenal gland, liver, and spleen. While lymphocytes aren't Ebola-infected, they do undergo apoptosis, leading to reduced lymphocyte counts. Ebola virus seems to elicit pro-inflammatory cytokine release, with successive impaired clotting and vascular leak, eventually leading to shock and multiple organ failure. Ebola patients often experience sudden fever onset and Ebola symptoms usually show between eight and twelve days, following exposure (the current spate's incubation period has a roughly 9-11 days mean). Early symptoms and signs aren't specific, and can include: subjective fever or elevation in body temperature, malaise, chills, and myalgia (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016). Once an individual gets infected with the Ebola virus, it may be communicated in a number of ways, one of which is via direct contact/exposure to an infected individual's body secretions and blood. A second route for Ebola transmission is in healthcare facilities. Physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers may get infected upon contact with syringe needles the patients are injected with. If proper protective measures aren't adopted (e.g. use of gowns, mask, etc.), healthcare providers may easily contract the disease (Rafael, 2014).

Specific World Regions Where Ebola Has Been Problematic and Current Status

As of 11th March, 2015, the Ebola outbreak of West Africa, which started in March of the previous year, reported 24,282 cases and an alarming 9976 deaths. As the epidemic occurred in some among the world's least accessible and poorest areas, the actual figures will likely be much higher. While the primary disease burden has been witnessed in the following afflicted nations, namely, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, a small number of Ebola cases spread from these hardest-hit nations to other regions across the globe (Dubov, Appleton & Campbell, 2016). However, on January 13, 2016, it was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) that Liberia -- the last country to be affected -- is now Ebola-free. Hence, Ebola no longer remains a crisis within the region (BBC News, 2016).

Treatment Available and Progress in Development of an Ebola Vaccine

Vaccines are defined as Biological preparations that offer active acquired resistance to a given disease. Vaccines normally comprise of disease-causative microorganisms, usually prepared from inactivated or dead microorganism forms, any one surface protein of the microorganism, or its toxins. The agent stimulates… [END OF PREVIEW]

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