The Ebola Virus

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Trimester: Trimester 8 Topic: Virology Assignment- Discussion on the problems associated with the sporadic outbreak of Ebola virus and why this current outbreak is posing a serious problem to our health system. Introduction Viruses A virus is defined as a microscopic infectious agent which can only replicate inside the cells of other living organisms. Viruses are generally considered as non-living due to the fact that they are not cells, they do not contain cells and lack living components such as a cell membrane, and they also require a living organism to multiply. Outside of the host, they are classified as non-living. Discovered in 1892 as a strange non-bacterial pathogen infecting tobacco plants (currently identified as tobacco mosaic…show more content…
In certain cases, the virus may not be identified by healthcare workers before contact with bodily fluids is made as there are some diseases with similar initial symptoms to Ebola such as malaria which do not pose a contact threat to healthcare workers. A particular incident would be the case of one Patrick Sawyer, who entered Nigeria on 20th of July 2014 and was an index case (first case) in the Ebola epidemic in Nigeria. He was taken to a private hospital in Nigeria where doctors had not initially identified his condition as Ebola, and had already come into contact with bodily fluids of the infected individual. This problem has caused the mass withdrawal of many healthcare workers and the immediate shutdown of facilities that have been infected. Appropriate methods used to prevent this problem include general awareness and the provision of a containment Bio suit to protect healthcare…show more content…
The most important problem caused by the sporadic outbreak of Ebola virus is that it cannot be anticipated and the appropriate methods cannot be taken until it has begun to progress. This leads to a large death toll as in the current outbreak and a slow reaction time for the general public and healthcare system. Even when the current outbreak subsides, the next major outbreak cannot be predicted and only after the outbreak has begun can proper steps be taken. Working towards the mass manufacture of a vaccine or antiviral treatment or complete cure for the Ebola virus could help solve this problem

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