Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hot Zone

So from reading farther into the book so far, I have found out that there are more viruses like the Ebola. In fact there are two different strains of the Ebola virus. One is named Ebola Zaire, and the other is Ebola Sudan. These viruses belong in their own category called filoviruses. They are viruses that are shaped uniquely compared to other viruses, They are in teh shape of long stretched out thread like structures. Also another virus that belongs in this group is called Marburg. It was first discovered in 1967 in Germany, the effects of Marburg are similar to that of Ebola where internal hemoraging was very frequent.

But from reading so far, I can say that these three filo viruses that I know of have similar effects on people. The hemoraging of the body seems to be the biggest factor in common. However I also found good news while learning about these viruses and how there were more of them. There are only three strains, and they didn't originate in America, so the chance of me catching the virus is very slim. However if I do somehow encounter one of these viruses.. I probably wont live. The Zaire strain of Ebola kills 90% of all infected, Sudan kills about half of the infected, and Marburg kills about 25% of infected. So all in all, it's still a pretty scary thing.

7 comments:

J Goldberg said...

Any insights to viral recombination in other vectors? Nothing like the movie Contagion where a virus is rearranged as it goes from vector to vector. But that was a real fear with Ebola when it 'got out' in the Reston, VA lab back in '89.

Bethany Nazarian said...

I think it's incredible how powerful viruses can potentially be. The fact that the Zaire strain of Ebola kills 90% of all infected is terrifying. It really makes me wonder, how does a virus become so lethal? Can new viruses be that harmful, or does it take time for a virus to develop to be that lethal? I think that the virus would have to be exposed to a copious amount of other viruses and bacteria in order to be able to fight them off. Is it possible for viruses to take over and destroy the human population?!

Susan Vona said...

Bethany, your last question is exactly what keeps running through my head every time I read my book, and follow posts like these. I think we are very easy targets when it comes to viral infections because they can spread and infect hundreds of people so quickly, it's difficult to keep up with. The internal hemorrhaging that comes with Ebola reminds of black pox that was described in my book. I think I will be a germaphobe from now on.

Jenette Dziezynski said...

Kevin-
Ebola Zaire was briefly mentioned in my book and I was fascinated with it. I talked about it a little bit with Mr. Goldberg in class today and I find it incredible how deadly it can be. I think that's one of the the worst kind of deaths you could die; my book said Army soldiers used to call it the "crash and bleed out". What an awful way to go... Mr. Goldberg had some great insight into the origin of the disease; he pointed out that where it is mostly found, I think it was in Saudi Arabia, is not really a suitable condition for a new virus to develop. This means that it had to have migrated from somewhere; do you think this means that it's hiding out in some other country, just waiting to infect someone? It's scary that this disease, which spreads so quickly and kills so many, could be lurking anywhere. In my book, smallpox was eradicated by making it so that the virus had no where to go, since everyone around the virus was vaccinated; thus, it died out. Do you think that a similar technique could one day work for Ebola, or would it be useless due to the sudden and rapid spread of the disease in bursts?

Kevin Cheung said...

Jenette-
In the book it mentioned some things about how the hosts come into contact with others through certain organisms, it Marburg was often found in Green Monkeys, But because the virus is so deadly the host was killed soon after before having too much of a chance to spread. However I do not know exactly what kind of hosts it attaches to in order to spread, it could be smaller organisms such as flies and other other insects that might be able to survive infected with the virus, then spread it. So far I haven't read enough about it to tell you for sure. But the virus may be able to die out if the only organisms that carry it are large animals, but then how do they get infected? If there is a large break out of this virus, I'm not so sure we would be able to survive unless medicine has developed enough to counteract it.

Jenette Dziezynski said...

Thoughful reply, Kevin! Interesting issue with the vectors that carry Ebola. Let me know if you find out anything more about how it spreads, I'm interested to find out more!

Elisha Cheeran said...

This was a very interesting post. It shocks me to see that even though with our high standards in medicine, it is practically impossible to protect ourselves from every virus or bacteria. For example, I don't think any human can be resistant to a flesh eating bacteria. Usually there is no cure, unless you consider amputation as one. But other than that I too was surprised on the percentage that the strain of Ebola can kill. This actually reminds me about the SARS outbreak and as I was looking at the amount of confirmed cases and the amount of people that died from it, I noticed the percentage of people dying from this was high. Although it was a small sample size, it's rather very scary.