Ebola Virus Disease : History, Transmission & Pathogenesis

951 Words Oct 4th, 2016 4 Pages
Ebola Virus Disease: History, Transmission & Pathogenesis

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) was initially discovered in 1976; which originated from the Ebola River Valley in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). EVD is a severe, often fatal disease affecting humans, and nonhuman primates. Outbreaks occur in Africa affecting mostly the central and western portions of the continent. Formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, but the recent outbreak illustrates viruses’ ability to manifest itself without hemorrhaging. While EVD can be a deadly disease, its spread can be stymied rather quickly with properly trained, and well equipped personnel, effective disposal of dead bodies, and changes in burial practice.

History

During the 70’s, the DRC and Sudan were affected by Ebola viruses causing 637 human cases and 454 deaths. The first two major epidemics occurred in Africa in 1976. There were no EVD outbreaks reported within a 15-year period. (Galan-Huerta, 2014)
When a new epidemic was detected in the DRC in the spring of 1995, it was widely perceived as a threat to the West. The amount of public attention was intense. A massive intervention, led by UN and US agencies, followed and put an end to the epidemic within less than two months. (Benini, 1996)
In April 1995, members of a rapid response team, handling a patient mis-diagnosed for typhoid, were infected. Rapid infection of unprotected health workers and of other hospital patients ensued, eventually prompting most patients…
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