Discussion on Ebola viral disease


Ebola is a viral disease that causes fever in humans and other pirates. The structure of the virus is approximately 80nm in diameter and around 970nm long. It is cylindrical in shape and contains matrix-like and nucleocapsid-like components. The virus is long and has a filamentous form and has a shape that is U. It falls under the Filovirus family and usually looks like a thread. They have an encoded glycoprotein about 7-10nm long spikes from its lipid bilayer surface. The glycoproteins are proteins that contain carbohydrate chains attached to their polypeptide side chains through a process called glycosylation.

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The glycoprotein is the resident of the Ebola virus surface and is responsible for attaching to and entering new host cells. The outer viral envelope of the viron is derived by budding from domains of the host cell membrane into which the GP spikes have been inserted during their biosynthesis. Diagnosis of Ebola can be pretty challenging. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a method used to detect low levels of the Ebola virus. The method is used to detect virus particles in small amounts of blood. Minigenome systems have been used as tools to study the Ebola virus. The virus prevents the viral replication of cells, making it difficult for the immune system to generate cells that will help in preventing the spread of the disease in the human body.

Ebola is a deadly disease that leads to internal and external bleeding. The signs as symptoms of the disease are visible after 2-21 days after the person is infected. The symptoms associated with the disease include fever, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, sore throat, headache, and coughing. When the disease progresses, the symptoms change to vomiting, diarrhea, rash, unexplainable bruising, bleeding internal and external, and weight loss. The leading cause of the Ebola virus is wild animals. It spreads from animals or from one person to the next. Direct contact with an infected leads to the spread of the disease. For example, when people exchange body fluids like saliva through kissing, feces or vomit, organ transplant, breast milk, sexual contact with an infected person spreads the virus.

The complications that emerge from this virus include having joint problems, weakness and fatigue, loss of hair, inflammation of the liver, a state of severe confusion, and jaundice. Serious complications that can be dangerous in an infected person are; failure of the organ, shock, seizures, severe bleeding, coma, and shock. The duration period of Ebola takes about four to six days; then symptoms are visible; this period when the virus is transmitted from one person to the other, and the beginning o symptoms is known as the incubation period. The incubation period can take two days or run for as long as 21 days. People infected with this virus can spread it at a higher rate when the disease has advanced in the late stages. Isolation should be carried out to avoid transmission of Ebola, and it is advisable to wear protective equipment if you are around an infected person. Ebola is persistent in fluids like semen, pregnancy-related fluids, and breast milk.  This disease is deadly, and the outbreaks are common in the African region.

Micro-organisms have a relationship with the immune system when they inhabit the body surface of mammals. Ebola is deadly because when one is infected, it disables a cellular protein called tetherin which is responsible for blocking the spread of the virus from one cell to the other. Tetherin is a class of cellular factors that prevent viral replication. It stops the virus from infecting the neighboring cells. A cell that is infected with Ebola is fatal because it becomes a source of production in making a large number of new virions.  The virions are then released from the cell to infect other cells and advance the infection by spreading it through the whole body. If the tethering is blocked, the immune system of the body weakens since it can not respond and fight the infection.

Ebola produces a protein for tethering, making it inactive. It is, therefore, essential to learning how the Ebola protein disables tethering as this will make it easier to stop the spread of the virus (Feldmann, Sprecher, & Geisbert, 2020). We learn that the Ebola virus targets the immune cells, which are responsible for defense; for example, it infects the dendritic cells whose purpose is to activate white cells that destroy the cells infected. Dendritic cells are immobilized, making it hard for the anti-bodies to respond by being activated as they cannot receive a signal. Ebola causes inflammation and destroys a number of tissues in the body by causing macrophages to release inflammatory molecules. It destroys the cells in the liver, which produce coagulation proteins leading to several organ failures.

Ebola is explained as a zoo tonic disease which means that both humans and animals are involved. Researchers have found that it can be spread from animal to animal, and the bat is the primary host of the virus, and it can spread it to other animals or even humans when contact is made with the reservoir host. The virus is transmitted from one person to the other through making contact with the body fluids and contact with the infected person or the dead bodies of Ebola patients. The disease is common among animals, and it spreads from bats to animals living in the forest. People go hunting, and in the process of making contact or eating bush meat, they get infected. A lot of animals succumb to death due to this virus.

Research carried out shows that there is a link between the human population density and the vegetation cover in Africa, and it goes to explain the spread of this virus from animals to humans. Transmission is made possible by the interaction between the human population and the forested land, which enhances the spread of the virus.  The spread has increased because of the number of the human population who move into the forested areas. Potential hosts for the Ebola virus have not been found despite the large number of outbreaks that have occurred. Humans, Apes, and other species are referred to as the end hosts and not the reservoirs of infection. Bats and rodents have been considered to be a potential reservoirs for quite some time. Experimental studies in African plants and Animals resulted in the transmission of the Zaire Ebola virus to African fruit and insectivorous bats. Non-human primates symbolize a source of infection for humans but are considered as an accidental host and not a reservoir of infection. In Africa, the virus is transmitted through handling infected mammal species like gorillas, and contact made with these animals leads to humans being infected.

Patients suffering from Ebola need care as they are dehydrated from time to time and require a lot of fluids.  However, this virus is treatable even though there is no specific treatment. A drug called ZMapp is being used to prevent the spread of the virus (Hoenen, Groseth, & Feldmann, 2019). The mortality rate is reduced at some percentage because the number of people dying from the infection has reduced. The treatment works best when it is administered in the early stages of infection because, during that time, the viral loads are still at a low level. ZMapp does not provoke an immune reaction, and it blocks access so that the virus cannot replicate and spread in the body. The health professionals and researchers have resulted in combining three monoclonal antibodies due to the virus being large and its ability to change shape. Ervebo is another vaccine administered to Ebola patients and is termed safe and protective against the Zaire Ebola virus, which is considered fatal.

Clinical management on Ebola should invest in the provision of care and support to the patients having complications from Ebola such as hematologic abnormalities, shock, hemorrhage, multi organ failure, and many others (Jacob et al. 2020). The clinic should try to devise ways to maintain blood pressure and oxygen, pain control, nutritional support, and offer treatment of secondary bacterial infections. It makes the management easier when they prevent the infections and put across control measures. Dehydration in the patients can be dealt with by giving them large amounts of intravenous fluids.

Ebola virus is a highly virulent pathogen that causes hemorrhagic fever. Evidence found shows that the virus tampers with the innate and adaptive immune systems that lead to inflammation of body organs. The immune system if the host is weakened due to tissue damage and cell damage caused by the virus, which can lead to death due to septic shock. Research has been carried out to help come up with ways that can be used to prevent and treat this deadly disease that is an enveloped negative-strand RNA virus of the Filoviridae family. The uncontrolled viral replication of the Ebola virus is central to its pathogenesis because it initiates the dysregulation of the host immune response. Most patients who die from this virus exhibit little evidence of an activated adaptive immune response.

The pathological changes experienced in the Ebola virus patients include coagulation abnormalities, hemorrhage, and organ failure. The virus does not target the cells directly, although their numbers are rapidly exhausted as measured in the host. Countries in equatorial Africa have experienced the outbreak for over a long time (Jalloh et al., 2018). They have a weak, healthy system, and the clinicians have a habit of suspecting Ebola when an outbreak of mysterious diseases occurs, which acts in their favor. The laboratories have been equipped, and the caregivers know where they should take the patient’s samples for an accurate and realizable diagnosis. It is, however, challenging for the clinicians to manage the cases because, in West African countries, they had never experienced the virus before and therefore were not well prepared on how to respond. The laboratories had never carried out samples on patients to get a diagnosis. The governments were not prepared for the social and economic impact that the pandemic caused.



Coltart, C. E., Lindsey, B., Ghinai, I., Johnson, A. M., & Heymann, D. L. (2017). The Ebola outbreak, 2013–2016: old lessons for new epidemics. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences372(1721), 20160297.

Feldmann, H., Sprecher, A., & Geisbert, T. W. (2020). Ebola. New England Journal of Medicine382(19), 1832-1842.

Hoenen, T., Groseth, A., & Feldmann, H. (2019). Therapeutic strategies to target the Ebola virus life cycle. Nature Reviews Microbiology17(10), 593-606.

Jacob, S. T., Crozier, I., Fischer, W. A., Hewlett, A., Kraft, C. S., de La Vega, M. A., … & Kuhn, J. H. (2020). Ebola virus disease. Nature reviews Disease primers6(1), 1-31.

Jalloh, M. F., Li, W., Bunnell, R. E., Ethier, K. A., O’Leary, A., Hageman, K. M., … & Redd, J. T. (2018). Impact of Ebola experiences and risk perceptions on mental health in Sierra Leone, July 2015. BMJ global health3(2), e000471.







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