Is Ebola Coming to the New World?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
By Paul Martin

by Bill White
Aug. 5, 2014

Of all the deadly viruses in the world, Ebola is probably the most deadly. Oh, it doesn’t have a history of killing off millions of people, like the bubonic plague does. But that’s just because it hasn’t had a chance. Up until now, Ebola has been confined to the back country in Africa, where it doesn’t have many victims to choose from. When an epidemic starts, it usually can’t get past the village it started in.

What makes Ebola so deadly is that it is one of the fastest killers out there, with one of the highest mortality rates. You can go from exposure to Ebola to death in ten days and it has a mortality rate of 90 percent. Yep, 9 out of 10 people who come into contact with Ebola end up dying from it.

The current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is really scary. This is the first time that Ebola has infected enough people, over a wide enough area, to be truly called a pandemic.

There are currently four countries in Africa where medical teams are treating Ebola victims. Over 700 people have died and there are another 500 or more that have the disease. According to statistics, at least 450 of them will die as well.

There is no cure for Ebola, nor is there an effective vaccination. Medical science has had very little luck in developing medicines that work against viruses. The vaccines we take are largely so that our bodies can develop the necessary antibodies to fight off these diseases, should we become infected. Since there is no vaccine for Ebola, our bodies are going to have to start from scratch if we become infected.

Ebola is a virus; something so small, that it can’t even live on its own. It can’t eat, doesn’t have a means of moving itself around and can only reproduce with the help of a host. In the process of reproducing, it kills the cell that it gets the genetic information from.

That’s all it does, reproduce. It moves from cell to cell, throughout the organism it has invaded, killing a cell at a time so that it can reproduce. Given time, it kills all the cells in that host, reproducing and taking over that victim’s life; killing them.

While the virus can kill within ten days, its incubation period can be as high as 21 days. That means that it will be anywhere from two days to 21 days between the time that the victim is infected by the virus and the first onset of symptoms. During that time, the person is a walking time-bomb, spreading Ebola to everyone they come into contact with.

This deadly disease has infect two Americans in this outbreak. Two American health workers that are helping care for the sick in Africa, one of them a doctor, have been infected by Ebola.

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