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Essay/Term paper: Ebola and marburg viruses

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Medicine

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Ebola and Marburg Viruses

The Ebola and Marburg viruses are extremely lethal viruses that have
placed repugnant thoughts on the minds of many people that have any background
knowledge on this field of viral infections. Where does it come from? Where
does it hide? What could it do to me? As these questions burn holes in the
minds of many people, something should be done to learn more about these
horrendous viruses. People sometimes become scared stiff from the thought of
the bone-chilling effects from these viruses, and had good reason to. "Ebola,
the slate wiper, did things to people that you did not want to think about. The
organism was too frightening to handle even for those who were comfortable and
adept in space suits." (paperback pg.63-64 - Project Ebola).
A large, shy man by the name of Gene Johnson was the first pioneer to
venture out to find the roots of the Ebola and Marburg viruses. Gene spent
many years in Central Africa looking for these viruses. After digging up
virtually every piece of land in Central Africa, Gene Johnson wound up without
a single case or report of a virus. A man by the name of Charles Monet and a
young boy referred to in this book as Peter Cardinal both contracted the same
level 4 hot virus. There is only one connection between Charles and Peter.
"The paths of Charles Monet and Peter Cardinal had crossed at only one place on
earth, and that was inside Kitum Cave." (pg. 140 - Cardinal). Kitum Cave is
where the virus is expected to be living or where the history of the Ebola
virus lays. So Kitum Cave is where the search for the deadly virus begins.
Led by Gene Johnson, the team members on the Kitum Cave expedition set up many
differing animals inside the cave with the hope that one of the animals would
contract the virus. Even though the expedition's results came out negative,
Kitum Cave is still the only logical place where the virus thrives.
There have been a handful of outbreaks as the cause of a shipment of
monkeys to a civilized community. For example, this occurred from a monkey
shipment to an old city in central Germany. Killing 7 out of the 31 people it
infected, this virus would later be named after the city it erupted in, Marburg.
The monkeys posed as the host in this terrifying disaster. The possibility
that humans are the natural host is very, very unlikely. "...its original host
was probably not monkeys, humans, or guinea pigs but some other animal or insect
that it did not kill. A virus does not generally kill its original host." (pg.
139 - Cardinal). It is almost like man carrying a bomb that will go off no
matter what. He is not immune to that bomb, it will destroy him. It is not
possible that he could have been the natural host to that bomb. It is the same
story with Marburg and Ebola. You can't carry a bomb with you and not let it
do its damage. There are also theories as to where the virus lives. Most of
the theories coming from Kitum Cave. Just as these quotes from the book suggest.
"Maybe the virus lives in nettles." (pg. 392 - Camp). Inside the cave,
theories included insects. "The insects floated like snow blown sideways. The
snow was alive. It was a snow of hosts. Any of them might be carrying the
virus, or none of them." (pg. 393 - Camp). The Marburg and Ebola related
viruses are scary enough to scare a small speedo off a two ton elephant. As
the hunt continues, the mystery lurks deep in the forests of Africa.


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