If I were to rank the world's most gruesome ways to die, Ebola infection would surely sit near the top of the list. It starts with a sudden fever and then kills by liquefying peoples' insides. Ebola hamorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is a severe and often fatal disease that has appeared sporadically since its initial recognition in 1976. It is a rare but deadly microbe that kills up to fifty to 90 percent of people who become ill. Thus, making Ebola among the most lethal viruses known. Other diseases kill much larger numbers of people, but Ebola's mystery and ferocity has symbolized the growing risk of emerging and re-emerging pathogens.
The Ebola virus was named after a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo (initially known as Zaire) in Africa, the area in which it was first recognized. It is one of two members of a family of RNA viruses called Filovridae. In nature the exact origin, location and natural habitat (i.e. the "natural reservoir") of Ebola is unknown. Researchers however do believe that the virus is Animal-borne (zoonotic) and is maintained in an animal host.
The infamous haemorrhagic fever is a microbe that is found only in humans and non-human primates (monkeys and chimpanzees). Strains of Ebola from Zaire, Sudan and the Ivory Coast are fatal to humans. But a monkey strain, which infected laboratory workers in Preston, Virginia, in 1989, does not affect humans.
Ebola outbreaks are not common or widespread but yet they do not seize to receive publicity. This is due to their lethal nature and horrifying symptoms such as the massive internal bleeding and high fever that they cause.
Ebola is quite a mysterious virus for it strikes sporadically, devastating an entire town or isolated village before disappearing back into the jungle. Here in the jungle scientists believe it may be hiding away in an unknown host.