Essay on Viral Hemorrhagic Fever and Ebola Virus Species

2366 Words Sep 16th, 2014 10 Pages
What is Ebola hemorrhagic fever? Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is a severe, often-fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees) that has appeared sporadically since its initial recognition in 1976. The disease is caused by infection with Ebola virus, named after a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) in Africa, where it was first recognized. The virus is one of two members of a family of RNA viruses called the Filoviridae. There are five identified subtypes of Ebola virus. Four of the five have caused disease in humans: Ebola-Zaire, Ebola-Sudan, Ebola-Ivory Coast and Ebola-Bundibugyo. The fifth, Ebola-Reston, has caused disease in nonhuman primates, but not in humans. …show more content…
What are the symptoms of Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
The incubation period for Ebola HF ranges from 2 to 21 days. The onset of illness is abrupt and is characterized by fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. A rash, red eyes, hiccups and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients.
Researchers do not understand why some people are able to recover from Ebola HF and others are not. However, it is known that patients who die usually have not developed a significant immune response to the virus at the time of death.
How is Ebola hemorrhagic fever clinically diagnosed?
Diagnosing Ebola HF in an individual who has been infected only a few days is difficult because early symptoms, such as red eyes and a skin rash, are nonspecific to the virus and are seen in other patients with diseases that occur much more frequently. However, if a person has the constellation of symptoms described above, and infection with Ebola virus is suspected, isolate the patient and notify local and state health departments and the CDC.
What laboratory tests are used to diagnose Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
Antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing, IgM ELISA,

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