The Effects of Ebola Disease on Human Body


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This assignment will talk about the origins and effects of Ebola. Plus the characteristics of Ebola and what makes it so dangerous to human life. Also this assignment will talk about what will happen when Ebola enters the human body such as the physical effects, symptoms and also the biological and chemical processes that take place inside the body. In addition this paper contains treatments and prevention of Ebola and what scientists are currently researching and exploring to stop Ebola from spreading. Furthermore this assignment will research ideas developed by organisations and individuals, theories and also experimental Ebola treatments from that could possibly find the cure for the Ebola virus.

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What Is Ebola?

The Ebola virus disease is a viral fever of humans and other primates such as monkeys and pigs [1]. The Ebola virus is caused by an infection which is within the genus Ebolavirus. Ebola was first discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976 near a river called Ebola River. Today scientists do not know where the Ebola virus has come from but they believe its animal borne and its most likely from bats transmitting the virus to other animals such as monkeys, duikers and also humans. The Ebola virus spreads from one person to another person through bodily fluids. These bodily fluids can be from someone who has died from the virus who through the environment. The Ebola virus can get through broken skin or mucous membranes which are located in the eyes, nose and mouth. Furthermore Ebola can spread through direct contact in humans. For example through blood and tissues of infected bats or primates. [2].

What Happens When Ebola Enters the Human Body?

Firstly when the Ebola virus enters the body it searches for certain types of immune cells which are used to defend off pathogens before a full immune response is needed. The first cell to be infected are dendritic cells. The dendritic shows signs of an infection in the body on their surfaces, this activates T lymphocytes that could destroy other cells that are infected by the virus before the virus replicated further and spread around the body. What makes Ebola very dangerous is that it can replicated very fast infect lots of cells in the body in a short period of time [3]. Furthermore the Ebola virus genetic material is RNA, this contains the processes need to make more Ebola viruses. In order for the Ebola virus to create new viruses by getting into the cell and hijacking the host cell. To get inside the cells the Ebola travels through the cell membrane which is what surrounds the cytoplasm. The Ebola virus gets into the cell through one of the nutrient-uptake entryways. Finally once inside the cell the virus hijacks the cells components. Giving the virus the power to make more copies of itself, therefore spreading the disease. The cell the Ebola virus hijacks then dies or does not function properly. Furthermore after the pieces for a new virus has been asembled, the viral pieces uses the cells membrane to make a capsule to travel towards nearby cells [4].

After this all happens, a human will notice some symptoms. The symptoms of ebola in humans include: high fever, headache, join and muscle aches, sore throat, weakness, stomach pain and many more. But when the Ebola virus gets worse, severe effects takes place. Examples include bleeding inside the body and also from the eyes, ears and nose. Secondly you can vomit, cough up blood, blood diarrhea and you may notice rashes forming [5]. Furthermore the Ebola virus attacks the spleen and kidneys. Here the virus attacks and destroys the cells that help to control fluid and chemical balance. When this occurs production of proteins to help blood clot will be stopped. Plus organs of the human body such as liver, lungs and kidneys shuts down [6].

Treatments and Prevention of Ebola

Currently in 2019 there isn’t a cure for Ebola. But steps can be taken to reduce the chance of death. This can be done by injecting fluids and electrolytes into the veins, this is done intravenously. Another way providing oxygen therapy to patients this will give patients a stable oxygen level. Furthermore medicines can be used to reduce vomiting and diarrhea (common symptoms of Ebola). Luckily some patients do recover from the virus and then their immune system starts making antibodies that can last for 10 years. Currently scientists are finding other ways to cure Ebola this includes drugs that stop the virus from making copies, in addition blood transfusion from patients who have survived is currently being explored [7].

The treatment so far does not make a big difference to stopping the Ebola virus but there is currently research taking place to find a cure for this virus. A company called NIAID is currently doing experimental Ebola treatments. But one company called Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Inc has developed a a treatment called ZMapp. This treatment is made of three proteins called monoclonal antibodies. When these antibodies are released into the body they bind to regions of the glycoproteins, inhibiting viral replication. ZMapp was tested on several animals but mainly nonhuman primates. The results showed that the virus was stopped and the animals did not die after five days getting infected by the Ebola virus. But there was concerns with this treatment because people did not know if this treatment is more effective with just supportive care [8].

Another possible treatment is mAb114. This also contains monoclonal antibody. This antibody was taken from a patient who survived the Ebola epidemic in Congo. The treatments involves protecting cells by the mAb114 binding to the middle of a surface proteins (proteins that are within the layer of cell membranes [9]) on the virus. This stops the virus from interacting with receptors on cells, therefore preventing Ebola entering the cell and infecting it [8]. Secondly BCX44XO can be possibly used in the future to help treat Ebola. This was developed by BioCryst Pharmaceuticals with some additional support from NIADI. BCX44XO is a drug with a wide spectrum of antiviral activity. This drug has protected several animals from infection, not just Ebola but with Marburg viruses. In 2014 this drug has started to get examined for safety and also to find the ideal dosage [8].

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