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Ebola kills by turning your internal organs into soup, literally. As your body disintegrates you bleed out of every orifice on your body and also through some newly created ones. Ebola Soup anyone?
Ebola has around a 90% mortality rate, this means that if you happen to catch Ebola, by playing with rotten carcasses or possibly in bat caves, you will have a 10% chance of survival. Source1
It first emerged in 1976 in villages along the Ebola River in the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and is usually fatal in humans and in other primates such as monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees.
So far, there have been about two dozen Ebola outbreaks in Africa.
No one knows how the virus is spread, and there are no available vaccines or anti-viral drugs that fight the infections.But the new research suggests the virus has a weakness in the form of a well-known protein called Niemann-Pick.Source2
A protein that helps transport cholesterol inside cells may be a key to developing drugs to treat Ebola, a rare but lethal virus for which there are no known treatments, US researchers said.
Laboratory mice bred to produce low levels of this protein — known Niemann-Pick C1 — survived exposure to both Ebola, which causes a hemorrhagic fever, and its cousin, Marburg virus.
“Mice that have less of this protein are very resistant to being killed by Ebola and the Marburg virus,” said Chandran, who worked with researchers at Harvard, the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
People with Niemann-Pick disease have two abnormal copies of the gene that make this protein, but the mice used in Chandran’s lab only had one working copy of this gene, suggesting that simply reducing the amount of the Niemann-Pick protein may help protect people from the virus.
The researchers are optimistic that this new understanding of how Ebola gets into cells may eventually lead to treatments.
But he acknowledges it will take many years and possibly even a decade, before treatments would be available for human use.
The Hot Zone is a best-selling 1994 non-fiction bio-thriller by Richard Preston about the origins and incidents involving hemorrhagic fevers, particularly the Ebola and Marburg viruses. The basis of the book was Preston's 1992 New Yorker article "Crisis in the Hot Zone". The filoviruses Ebola and Marburg are Biosafety Level 4 agents. Biosafety Level 4 agents are extremely dangerous to humans because they are very infectious, have a high mortality rate, and there are no known prophylactics, treatments, or cures. Along with describing the history of these two Central Africa illnesses, Preston describes an incident in which Ebola was found in a Reston, Virginia, monkey quarantine facility less than fifteen miles (24 km) away from Washington, DC. The original Reston, VA facility located at 1946 Isaac Newton Square was torn down sometime between 1995 and 1998.