Ebola virus

GC: n

S: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/guinea/ (last access: 30 July 2014); DORLAND p. 2061.

N: 1. Ebola, virus of the family Filoviridae that is responsible for a severe and often fatal viral hemorrhagic fever; outbreaks in primates, including gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans, and domestic pigs have been recorded. The disease is characterized by extreme fever, rash, and profuse hemorrhaging. In humans, certain strains of the virus can cause fatality in 50 to 90 percent of cases.
2. The virus takes its name from the Ebola River in the northern Congo basin of central Africa, where it first emerged in 1976. Ebola is closely related to the Marburg virus, which was discovered in 1967, and the two are the only members of the Filoviridae that cause epidemic human disease. Five strains of Ebola virus, known as Ebola-Zaire, Ebola-Sudan, Ebola-Côte d’Ivoire, Ebola-Reston, and Ebola-Bundibugyo, named for their outbreak locations, have been described.
3. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals. In Africa, infection has been documented through the handling of infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.
4. Ebola then spreads in the community through human-to-human transmission, with infection resulting from direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and indirect contact with environments contaminated with such fluids. Burial ceremonies in which mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased person can also play a role in the transmission of Ebola. Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness.
5. Cultural Interrelation: We can mention the medical thriller Outbreak (1987), written by Robin Cook.

S: 1 & 2. EncBrit. 3 & 4. WHO – http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/ (last access: 30 July 2014). 5. http://robincook.com/book-display.php?isbn13=9780425106877 (last access: 3 April 2015).


CR: RNA virus.