What Are The Origins of the Ebola Virus?
A review of the literature


As of December 2013 [1] ,Western Africa has been involved in a long and seemingly endless battle with the Ebola Virus Disease, first infecting the country of Guinea, where the disease still resides to this day. This current outbreak is said to be the largest in the recorded history [2], and by 18th September 2014, the WHO reported a case fatality rate of 50% within West Africa [2].

Introduction to the Ebola Virus Disease

Signs and Symptoms
Ebola Virus Disease, previously referred to as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a lethal and rare pathological disease belonging to the genus Ebolavirus and the family Filoviridae [3], which are known to cause haemorrhagic fever in humans as well as other primates [4], with the most typical symptoms associated with the disease (headaches, fever, muscle aches and sore throats – symptoms also most commonly associated with Influenza) arising within two days to three weeks of contracting the virus. After this period of time, more distinctive symptoms come to light, including excessive vomiting, diarrhoea, a skin rash [5] (typically across the arms and torso) and a decrease in the function of the liver and kidneys. At this stage, haemorrhagic fever sets in, whereby internal bleeding is caused due to the breakdown of mucous membranes in the body (40-50% of known cases) [7]. External bleeding (such as nosebleeds) is also common place as well as a condition called coagulopathy, whereby the blood’s ability to clot is compromised, usually caused by excessive bleeding, tying into haemorrhagic fever and its effects on the human body.

Even though Ebola Virus Disease is thought of as deadly, it is not the disease itself that will ultimately result in the death of those infected, but other diseases and symptoms that arise during infection. For example, between 6-16 days of being infected and experiencing the stated symptoms, death may become of the...

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