Disease is one of the only monsters left in our world today. While other mysteries have been solved, conquered and done away with, disease still afflicts people today. Among the many illnesses that afflict our world, those most damaging are usually caused by viruses. Included in the list of viral infections are the plagues that wiped out so many people in the middle ages and as recently as a few years ago. This most recent outbreak was cause by the Ebola virus.
The Ebola virus, one of the most contagious diseases known to man, can be transmitted through skin contact, tears, blood, or any other bodily fluid. Unlike many other viruses, Ebola is so dangerous because it can survive outside the body.Due to this, there is little that can be done to stop its deadly spread, except to isolate it.
Symptoms of Ebola hemorrhagic fever begin 4 to 16 days after the initial infection. The victim develops fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches, and loss of appetite. As the disease progresses, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, sore throat, and chest pain can occur. The blood fails to clot and patients may bleed from injection sites as well as into the gastrointestinal tract, skin, and internal organs.
This diseasefirst surfaced in the mid-1970's in a break out in the African country of Zaire. Nine out of ten people infected died. In total four hundred life were lost to the virus. The most recent break out was in 1995 in the rural city of Kikwit, Zaire. When outbreaks like this occur, the medical research community jumps. As much information is gathered as possible, in the hope of find a cure, or a treatment, before another outbreak. The virus once more proved to elude man and not much information was discovered.
The reason researchers work so hard when an outbreak occurs is the hope of tracing the disease back to "patient zero," thefirst person to be infected. From thisfirst case, they then can search for

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