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A virus is an ultramicroscopic infectious organism that having no independent metabolic activity can replicate only within a cell of another host organism A virus consists of a core of nucleic acid either RNA or DNA surrounded by a coating of antigenic protein and sometimes a lipid layer surrounds it as well The virus provides the genetic code for replication and the host cell provides the necessary energy and raw materials There are more than 200 viruses that are known to cause disease in humans The Ebola virus which dates back to 1976 has four strains each from a different geographic area but all give their victims the same painful often lethal symptoms The Ebola virus is a member of a family of RNA viruses known as Filoviriade and falling under one genus Filovirus Marburg is a relative of the Ebola virus The four strains of Ebola are Ebola Zaire Ebola Sudan Ebola Reston and Ebola Tai Each is named after the geographical location in which it was discovered These filoviruses cause hemorrhagic fever which is actually what kill victims of the Ebola virus Hemorrhagic fever as defined in Mosbys Medical Nursing and Allied Health Dictionary as a group of viral aerosol infections characterized by fever chills headache malaise and respiratory or GI symptoms followed by capillary hemorrhages and in severe infection oliguria kidney failure hypotension and possibly death The incubation period for Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever ranges from 2-21 days The blood fails to clot and patients may bleed from injections sites and into the gastrointestinal tract skin and internal organs The Ebola virus has a tropism for liver cells and macrophages macrophages are cells that engulf bacteria and help the body defend against disease Massive destruction of the liver is a hallmark feature of Ebola virus infection This virus does in ten days what it takes AIDS ten years to do It also requires biosaftey level four containment the highest and most dangerous level
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