Essay by Anonymous UserJunior High, 8th gradeA+, December 1996

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it is good said it was the best paper on ebola she'd ever recevied


'The single biggest threat to man's continued dominance on the planet is the virus'

Dr. Joshua Lederberg

Nobel Laureate

Forget cancer and AIDS. This virus does in two days what either of those takes years to accomplish. This is one of the most ruthless viruses known to man. It kills nine out of ten of its victims. There is no vaccine, no cure.

A virus is a disease-causing organism, that lives in a cell of another living thing. By itself, a virus is a lifeless particle that cannot reproduce. But inside a living cell, a virus becomes active and can multiply hundreds of times, usually harming or destroying the host in the process. Viruses cannot live for long outside a cell. They must be carried inside the organism by some means and then transported through body fluids, to the cells.

As the virus reproduces itself, the copies, are released from the cell and infect other cells. When a virus reproduces, it changes the chemical make up of a cell. This change usually damages or kills the cell, and disease results if many cells are infected.

The Ebola (pronounced ee-BOH-la) virus is an extremely lethal virus from the tropics, its exact origins unknown. It affects monkeys and humans. It is member of a family of RNA viruses known as filoviruses. When magnified several thousand times by an electron microscope, these viruses have the appearance of long filamates or threads. The thread viruses have been compared to hair, to worms and to snakes, when they appear in a great flooding mess, as they so often do when they have destroyed a victim, they look like a tub of spaghetti that has been dumped on the floor. It...