The Ebola Virus

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About Ebola and book report on "The Hot Zone" by Richard Preston Excellent work!

The Ebola Virus

Descriptions of the Ebola virus:

The Ebola virus is a complicating object (viruses not being

considered living creatures, so it is an object). Named after the Ebola

River, the Ebola virus particle contains seven different proteins of which

only three have vaguely known purposes. While the exact function of the

other four proteins are still unknown, we do know that they attack immune

system. Ebola is known to jump hosts and known to be lethal to both

monkeys and humans. Similar to HIV, it will destroy your immune system

making it useless to fight off not only the ebola virus, but any other

virus that might enter your body. There are five different strains from

the Ebola family identified being Ebola Zaire, Sudan, Reston, Marburg and

the latest (found in December 1995) Tai.

Zaire, being the most dangerous,

killing 90% of it's victims. It is related to measles, mumps, rabies and

the parainfluenza virus. The first known emergence of the Ebola Zaire

virus was in September of 1976 making the virus roughly 20 years old, but

the genetic code inside the virus is a strand of RNA which is thought to

be the oldest coding mechanism for life. Since the earth's primordial

ocean (which came into existence about four and a half billion years ago)

may have contained life forms based on RNA, this could mean that Ebola is

very old. So while the virus has only been seen in existence for 20 years, it could be as ancient as the earth itself.

The symptoms of this filovirus are simply horrid. As earlier

mentioned, the virus attacks the immune system crippling it's ability to

defend against viral attack. The incubation period...