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                              Ebola is one of the deadliest and most unknown Diseases in the world. Although it wasn’t named until 1976, Ebola might have been a plague that helped bring the end to the Golden Age of Greece. Described by the great Athenian writer Thucydides this plague swept across the eastern Mediterranean and rattled Athens three times, in 430, 429, and 427-426 B.C.  The plague claimed numerous lives, even possibly Pericles, the leader of the Athenians. Historians said that between a quarter to a third of the population of Athens perished in the plague. This proves that Ebola is one of the worlds most deadliest diseases.

                              Thucydides, who contracted the disease but survived, said it began in Ethiopia and spread through Egypt and Libya before falling of Athens. The symptoms were fever, redness, burning of the eyes, and that the inside of the mouth turned bloody looking. He also went on to describe that the flesh turned red and broke out in blisters and ulcers. Victims of the disease went on to die on about the seventh or ninth day. Others died after weakness of extreme diarrhea. The only question is if this remarkably well documented and similar disease was in fact Ebola.

                              The first modern outbreak of took place in Yambuku, a village in tropical rain forests of the northern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which was then called Zaire, in 1976. The pandemic started when a teacher from yabuku came to the yambuku hospital suffering form a illness that was first diagnosed as malaria. The doctor gave her a shot and sent her home. That same needle, without being sterilized went on to give 400 other people shots. The final death toll from that epidemic was 280 people of a reported 318 cases. Ebola is a terrible virus that has a altered history and has claimed many lives.

             Ebola virus hasn’t appeared since 1995 in Liberia when “A chief of a troop of 17 warriors, who was fighting in the Liberian civil war, contracted Ebola in Liberia.” Calculating the time, it has been about nine and a half years since the chief contracted Ebola-Cote d’Ivoire and this fact is good and bad for people around the world, especially Africa. 

         The good things about the nine and half year layoff is that no one has suffered from the horrible virus and it’s allowing scientists and researchers time to gather more knowledge about Ebola, with the hope of finding a cure for future outbreaks.  The bad thing is that nine and half years is a long time and most people have completely forgotten that this lethal virus could pop up at any time.  We hope that current scientists and researchers have not lightened up on their mission to better understand the past, present and future risks that Ebola represents.  Right now it would be a safe educated guess that Ebola is not dead for the simple reason that no one has found the precise location of its birth and it’s safe to assume that if it broke out once, It’s likely to do it again.  Since being famous and wealthy are key motivators for most human beings, It is a true hope that some researcher or scientist will never rest until he or she solves the mystery of Ebola. 

         Any person who solves the Ebola disease will become internationally famous; make millions of dollars and save millions of lives. Even though Scientist have Found better treatments for the disease it is still a dangerous and miserable disease to retract. Thanks to modern medical technology it is easier for people to survive this disease.

         The word Ebola is a noun that means “a severe and often fatal disease in humans and non human primates (monkeys and chimpanzees) caused by the Ebola virus; characterized by high fever and severe internal bleeding; can be spread from person to person; is largely limited to Africa” The disease was first recognized in 1976 at the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa.  This area is formerly known as Zaire, Africa.  The virus was named after the Ebola River.  Even though some sites publicize that the first occurrence was near the Ebola River, researchers have still not found the natural reservoir that feeds the River.  Because of this the scientists have yet to create a reliable vaccination.  One has been made by the researchers at Howard Hughes Medical Institute but it has not been consistent in curing laboratory animals with the disease. 

         The Ebola disease has four different subtypes or strains of the disease each getting its name from where it was first recognized.  The four different strains are Ebola-Zaire, Ebola-Sudan, Ebola-Cote d’Ivoire and Ebola-Reston.  In chronological order the four strains of Ebola appeared as follows: Ebola-Sudan on June 27, 1976, Ebola-Zaire on September 1, 1976, Ebola-Reston in 1989 and Ebola-Cote d’Ivoire in 1994.  “Ebola virus has a mortality rate that ranges from 53% to 88% and due to its highly pathogenic nature, scientific research conducted on Ebola must be conducted in a bio-safety Level 4 laboratory (AIDS/HIV is a bio-safely Level 2 virus).” “For those few who survive, convalescence usually takes two to five weeks and is marked by profound exhaustion and weight loss.  Spontaneous abortions are common consequences of this infection, and infants born of mothers dying of the infection become fatally infected.”

 An obvious reasonable solution for Ebola hemorrhagic fever is to find a cure so that when another outbreak occurs, most likely in Africa. Doctors have a medicine that can cure the sick so innocent people don’t die of the horrible disease and so that it doesn’t spread. 

 It will take years for a cure to be found, but if researchers, scientists and doctors work harder to put the puzzle pieces together the world would have one less problem to deal with.  Scientists are certainly challenged because many of the large puzzle pieces are still missing.  Where is the natural reservoir for the Ebola River?  Where are some infected patients that could provide valuable blood samples?  Finding the natural reservoir would be huge and researchers are making more theories after conducting strenuous research on different caves and places in which Ebola has struck.  Finding an infected patient for blood samples would be tragic for the person, but might provide the cure for the rest of the world.  Technology has come so far in the past nine and a half years that an infected human blood sample would be priceless.  Positive news has come out saying “In December, a Purdue University science team presented new research that links Ebola with birds.  According to the study, the outer protein shell of filo-viruses, such as Ebola, have a biochemical structure similar to retroviruses carried by birds, making a common evolutionary origin more likely.” The research done by the Purdue University science team is just another theory that has the potential to be a great breakthrough. 

Although there are serious setbacks in the race for the cure for Ebola all it takes as one major break though to end this deadly disease. There may never be a cure for Ebola but until then researchers will work hard to find one. Hopefully soon people wont have to live with this dreadful disease.

There have also been theories about rodents being the natural reservoir, primates such as chimpanzees or monkeys or bats being the natural reservoir.  Going further with the birds being the natural reservoir theory, the research that has been presented has to set off an alarm in any reader’s head after they realize that if a bird has Ebola, there is no telling how far the bird could fly and ultimately spread the disease to.  I have not done research into birds’ flight patterns, but I don’t think the bird theory is valid because the disease has, for the most part, been associated with Africa and birds cover great distances, so why has the disease not spread to neighboring countries such as Spain or Italy? The answer is the animals that have been infected with Ebola may not survive the trip to the neighboring countries.

Possibilities for the future may include a vaccine for Ebola or discovering the reservoir of Ebola and where it started.  Scientist are also working day and night to find a cure or vaccine for this killer. The most important thing is to take care and quarantine the people who have the disease so it cannot spread. It is also important to educate people on how to deal with ebola and that they shouldn’t touch sick or dead people with the disease because it will spread on to them and possibly other people. 

            Even though ebola isn’t common outside of Africa doctors and scientists cannot loose hope of ever finding a cure for this disease. With the technology we have today a break through is never far away.

I predict that we will find a cure for Ebola, but it won’t be before a major outbreak takes place in Africa having a mortality rate of 70% or more.  The cure will come at the expense of this big outbreak because, while the doctors are treating the sick patients, many blood samples will be taken and sent to labs around the nation and the world to be studied.  After months to years of studying and finding small cures, the total cure for Ebola will be reached.  The 70% or more mortality rate is an educated guess and the mortality rate percentage won’t be of a small population, there will be a lot of people who died for the cure of Ebola.  I say this because “Some scientists already worry that Ebola could mutate and become airborne.  Recent outbreaks have suggested it can evolve on its own. 

All the Ebola subtypes have shown the ability to be spread through airborne particles under research conditions.” In my prediction I hope that the mortality rate doesn’t reach 90 or 95%.  These numbers are very possible if Ebola mutates and becomes accessible through air molecules.  This mutation would expose the entire human population, where the outbreak occurs, to certain death.  Ebola should be publicized as a major threat to all humanity and brought out for the public eye to see so that people can, once again, beware and be aware of the dangers of Ebola.  After such a long time without publicity, there is almost a whole new generation that needs to be educated about Ebola for the first time.  Television, newspapers, books and research papers are just a few ways to raise the awareness about Ebola.  Ebola can’t be ignored or the entire world will pay the price. 

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