The Epidemic Of Ebola And Hiv / Aids Essay

1363 Words Oct 27th, 2016 6 Pages
For thousands of years throughout history, humans have had to contend with the spread of infectious diseases. One of the greatest concerns in today’s society is the constant fear of a potential outbreak of an infectious disease. A disease for which society does not have a cure or vaccine available, thereby obliterating the human race if it were to spread. Notable cases include the emergence of HIV/AIDS in the 1970s and 1980s, and the more recent 2014 outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa. Examining the distinctions between the two can give us a better understanding of how to combat potential outbreaks in the future.
Ebola and HIV/AIDS are two infectious diseases with many similarities. Both diseases are caused by viruses, originating in Africa, with no approved vaccines available, leading to mass casualties. Even with their similarities, the two outbreaks had vastly different outcomes. This is due to the “visibility and latency” (Ebola vs. AIDS, 2015).
HIV, which causes AIDS, does not cause death directly, but indirectly, by compromising the immune system, making the person more susceptible to other deadly infections (Ebola vs. AIDS, 2015). Of the 70 million infected with HIV, the death toll is 35 million (HIV/AIDS, 2016). The Ebola virus can kill a person directly. It can cause high fever, vomiting, and hemorrhaging, leading to organ failure. Of the roughly 8,000 cases reported by the CDC, the death toll is 4,000 (Ebola vs. AIDS, 2015).
Symptoms of Ebola can be present as…

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