Blood clots begin to form,
internal organs begin to fail,
and in a matter of days,
the body hemorrhages and dies.
Terrors all caused by a nightmare come to life.
Ebola is a rare but extremely dangerous disease.
It’s classified as one of the most lethal diseases on the planet
with a fatality rate of up to 90%.
Ebola is caused by six species of virus
with four known to cause sickness in humans,
and each is named after thelocations of their outbreaks.
The first known species was Zaire ebolavirus
discovered in 1976 near Zaire’s Ebola River,
a river fated to become thenamesake of all Ebola viruses.
Like all viruses,
Ebola viruses infect and feed off of their hosts
starting on a microscopic level.
The viruses, which are string-like structures,
contain genetic information in the form of ribonucleic acid, or RNA.
Encasing the RNA are layers of proteins.
The proteins on the outermostlayer are highly versatile,
capable of changing shape
and binding to different types of cells within a host.
When binding occurs,
the Ebola virus fuses with a host cell,
allowing the virus’ RNA to infiltrate the cell
and to replicate the virus from within.
This infection quickly spreads to countless cells throughout the body,
resulting in some of the most terrifying symptoms known to man.
Within eight to 10 days, thoseinfected by the Ebola virus
may experience symptomsdrastically ranging in severity
从发烧 腹泻 呕吐
from fevers to diarrhea and vomiting
to internal and external bleeding,
often from the eyes.
While outbreaks have been caused by multiple species of Ebola virus,
the strain with the highest fatality rate
was the first to be discovered, Zaire ebolavirus.
In 2014, it caused the most severe outbreak in history,
sweeping through western Africa
and resulting in over 11,000 deaths,
more than all earlier Ebola outbreaks put together.
At this point, no cure for Ebola exists.
Plus, the communities most likely to be affected
do not have sufficient access to healthcare.
In the mean time,
international efforts are being made to develop and test vaccines
that could potentially stop the disease once and for all.