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The Ebola Virus is the common name for several strains of virus three of whichare known to cause hemorrhagic fever in humans which is characterized by massivebleeding and destruction of internal tissues Named for the Ebola River in Zaire Africawhere the virus was first identified the Ebola virus belongs to the family FiloviridaeThree strains of Ebola virus that are often fatal to humans have been identified Namedfor the areas in which the first recognized outbreaks took place these strains are referredto as EbolaZaire EBOZ EbolaSudan EBOS and EbolaTai Forest EBOT A fourthEbola strain called EbolaRestonEBOR has not been found to cause disease inhumans As outbreaks of Ebola hemorrhagic fever continue to occur other strains may beidentified The viruses are long rods 800 to 1000 nanometers nm long 1 nm equalsone-billionth of a meter or 4 x 10-8 in but particles as long as 14000 nm have beenseen Each virus consists of a coiled strand of ribonucleic acid RNA contained in anenvelope derived from the host cell membrane that is covered with 7 nm spikes placed 10nm apart visible on the surface of the virion When magnified several thousand times byan electron microscope these viruses have the appearance of long filaments or threadsbut the particles are pleomorphic meaning they can exist in many shapes Their basicstructure is long and filamentious essentially bacilliform but the viruses often takes on aU shape They contain a unique single-stranded molecule of noninfectious negativesense RNA The virus is composed of 7 polypeptides a nucleoprotein a glycoprotein apolymerase and 4 other undesignated proteins Proteins are produced frompolyadenylated monocistronic mRNA a species transcribed from vi genomes As theinfection progresses the cytoplasm of the infected cell develops prominent inclusionbodies which contains the viral nucelocapsid which will become highly structured Thevirus then assembles and buds off the host cell attaining its lipoprotein coat from theinfected cells outer membrane The replication in and destruction of the host cell is rapidand produces a large
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