Bundibugyo Ebola Strain

Ebola Virus electron microscope imageLast year, an outbreak of Ebola Virus was responsible for 37 deaths in Uganda.  The causative species has been found to be genetically unique from other types of Ebola Virus, as well.  A very nice article in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) Pathogens journal discusses the researchers’ findings. 

Ebola  (genus) is from the Filoviridae Family and was previously made up of four sub-groups, geographically based.  Reston, SudanZaire and Cote d’Ivoire now have company with the Bundibugyo strain.  Of note, the Marburg Virus is also in the same Filoviridae family.   

Fortunately, travelers have a very low risk of acquiring this lethal infection. 

Risk factors for Ebola Virus:

  • Preparing of “bush-meat
  • Handling of dead animals, especially primates
  • Contact with the body fluids (blood, saliva, urine, vomit) of an infected person

Ebola takes it’s name from a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo where it was first noticed in 1976.  Unfortunately, the virus carries a 50-90% mortality rate and there is no vaccine or treatment available.  Common symptoms include a high fever, headache and myalgia that progress to a maculopapular rash with vomiting.  A chart from the CDC shows all previous Ebola outbreaks and fatalities.  Unfortunately, hospital workers represent a large number of cases.  This should draw attention to a need for decreasing nosocomial transmissions in the effected countries and better protective equipment for patients and healthcare workers. 

For some more information:

CDC Ebola Virus

Traveler’s Health and Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers

Citation and Link:

Towner JS, Sealy TK, Khristova ML, Albariño CG, Conlan S, et al. 2008 Newly Discovered Ebola Virus Associated with Hemorrhagic Fever Outbreak in Uganda. PLoS Pathogens 4(11): e1000212 doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000212

http://www.plospathogens.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.ppat.1000212

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: