Ebola in West Africa: Death toll reaches 2,622, leaving over 5,000 infected

Sunday, September 21, 2014
By Paul Martin

TheHealthSite.com
September 21, 2014

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reportedly said that the number of people infected by the Ebola virus in West Arica has crossed 5,000. The United Nations agency confirmed on Sunday that while the number of suspected and confirmed cases stands at 5,335 in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the death toll has risen to 2 622, reported News 24. The number of people infected and killed by Ebola infection is the highest in Liberia, WHO said.

Here are a few reason why Ebola is so deadly:

It can kill within seven days: Unlike other viruses (like HIV) that can remain dormant in a person for years without causing the disease, Ebola violently multiplies until the viral particles are amplified to about 100 million viral particles in a droplet of blood. Further, without resting in a dormant stage the virus kills the host to find a new one. The fatality rate of the disease is 60 percent.

There is no vaccine or treatment available: What makes this virus deadly is the fact that researchers have not been able to find an effective treatment or preventive technique to combat the virus and the spread of the disease. The experimental drug Zmapp has shown promising results but the safety and efficacy of the drug are to be evaluated. So, as of now, neither do we have an effective form of therapy nor do we have a vaccine to prevent the disease.

Attacks every part of the human body: Ebola only needs a host cell that can help it produce multiple copies of itself. What worsens the condition is the fact that the virus does not need a specific type of cell to multiply (unlike other deadly diseases). According to studies, except for skeletal muscles and bones, the virus is known to infect every part of the human body. Connective tissues, the ones that hold your internal organs in place, are primary targets of the virus.

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