Ebola - what do we know about this devastating virus that is currently affecting many people, particularly in certain countries of Africa where there has been an outbreak of this disease this year.
Many doctors, health workers and governments are now combining in a big effort to stop this disease so that it does not continue to increase and to help those people who have been affected.
(Page under preparation)
Ebola gets its name from the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire).
It is an RNA virus. This means it also requires RNA polymerase so that once it invades a cell it can then copy the RNA.
A detailed diagram of its structure can be found here : http://viralzone.expasy.org/all_by_species/23.html
It is a thread virus. The family Filoviridae contains 2 genera: Marburgvirus, which contains Marburg virus, and Ebolavirus, which contains 4 viruses: Zaire Ebola virus, Sudan Ebola virus, Reston Ebola virus, and Côte d’Ivoire Ebola virus, and 2 tentative species (Bundibugyo Ebola virus and Lloviu Ebola virus)
Virus genomes were examined from these species of virus to see when they had a common ancestor, to try and to try to find out how old they are : http://jvi.asm.org/content/87/5/2608.full
It causes the body's immune system to go into overdrive — which can lead to severe bleeding or haemorrhaging, organ failure, and death.
People get Ebola from touching the blood or body fluids of people infected with the disease, or through contact with objects, such as needles, which have become contaminated.
It has an incubation period (the time while it is multiplying in the host's cells) of between 2 days and .....
It was discovered first 40 years ago, so there may be reason for a debate about why its taken so long to discover a cure.... But lets hope that one can be found and used as soon as possible to stop any more suffering.
It has a natural reservoir host species, one which is not affected by the disease, and this is thought to be possibly fruit bats.
Latest News : There are three possible treatments being trialled - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-30033400
News - Dec 2014 - some heroic people from the fight against Ebola recognised in Person of the Year awards http://allafrica.com/stories/201412311126.html
Drugs affecting RNA Polymerase
And a doctor, Dr Gorbie Logan, in Africa who tried a drug that treats AIDS as it too is a retrovirus.
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/09/27/health/ebola-hiv-drug/ (Sept 29 2014)
https://sphcm.med.unsw.edu.au/infectious-diseases-blog/west-african-voices-ebola-2-case-lamivudine-ebola-treatment (Oct 11 2014)
Further article - with a few interesting comments after it too http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2014/10/02/a-liberian-doctor-is-using-hiv-drugs-to-treat-ebola-victims-the-nih-is-intrigued/
and another mentioning Dr Gorbee Logan
Seems possible this one might work - it has worked in mice against ebola but only when administered on or before day 6 of infection. By day 8 it appeared to be too late to save the mice.
Research : Successful treatment of advanced Ebola virus infection with T-705 (favipiravir) in a small animal model. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24583123
Route to making this ! Pathways in drug development are important - organic chemistry - http://blog-imgs-27.fc2.com/o/r/g/organicooking/20090913b.gif
A drug trial of Favipavir - started on 17th Dec 2014 - http://allafrica.com/stories/201412260651.html
23td January - announcement from GSK - Glaxo Smith Kline of a shipment of vaccines - good news in many ways but I still have a bit of a wonder as to why WHO pushed only vaccines - why not look at treatment possibilities too.... but at least with a vaccine the whole population who live near these fruit bats could be treated. lets hope the World Bank cancel this years debt payments to the affected countries or they wont be able to afford to pay. Or better still - let the whole world pay for these vaccines - its the least we can do to stop the spread and to help the affected people :
This treatment has had some effect but the problem is to scale up production. It is currently produced in tobacco plants. It has been used to save the lives of some people successfully.
This article does not hold out much hope that this treatment would work :
Ebola Aftereffects - article from Wired - Eye effects etc.
Ebola may have mutated to "suit" humans better - (as viruses tend to do ..)