Author(s): Passi D, Sharma S, Dutta SR, Dudeja P, Sharma V, Passi D, Sharma S, Dutta SR, Dudeja P, Sharma V
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Abstract Ebola virus disease (EVD) described as "one of the world's most virulent diseases" by WHO was popularly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever in the past. It is usually considered a severe and deadly illness when humans are concerned. EVD outbreaks have shown to have a very high fatality rate ranging from 50 - 90\% with a reported occurrence primarily seen near the tropical rainforests of remote villages in Central and West Africa. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and within the human community through human-to-human contact. Natural host for Ebola virus is not yet conclusively identified but the most probable host appears to be the fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family. Five subspecies of Ebola virus are recognized till date, with Zaire Ebola virus being the most aggressive of all varieties and recording up to 90\% mortality. All Ebola forms are highly contagious and hence have been classed as Category A Priority Pathogens by WHO. Severely ill patients warrant intensive support therapy. Medical workers working in affected areas need to undertake extensive measures to prevent contracting the disease. Till date, no particular anti-viral therapy has demonstrated effectiveness in Ebola virus infection. Also, no vaccine for use in humans is yet approved by the regulatory bodies. If Ebola was actually misused as a biological weapon, it could be a serious threat. Idea behind this article is to briefly review the history and present recent updates on Ebola virus, its pathogenesis and possible hopes for treatment.
This article was published in J Clin Diagn Res
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense