Viruses are found in almost all parts of the earth, including the Arctic and infect nearly every form of life including unicellular organisms to human beings. .
First, it is important to know what exactly a virus is. A virus is a small capsule made of lipid membranes enclosing certain proteins. This capsule contains usually one or two strands of either RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) or DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid). DNA and RNA are long molecules, which contain genetic codes or information. .
This is distinguishing feature of viruses in comparison to the host, which has both DNA and RNA. The virus exists for one purpose - to duplicate. For my project I will be talking about four viruses: Ebola, West Nile, Rabies, and Aids.
The intrusion of the Ebola virus is a result of mans closer contact with the rainforest. According to the G.I.S. (Geographic Information Systems) the Ebola Virus could come into contact with humans because of the destruction of the rainforests. If the forest had not been disturbed then the Ebola Virus would continue its lifecycle in the deep regions of the rainforest. Besides this study, other agencies too are beginning to realize the importance of this. Though the theory is a new one, voiced by a few, it is now being taken seriously. The American government is now monitoring areas of outbreaks and recording time series analyses of change of forest cover in these regions. The importance of good data on this potential threat has been realized and research is being carried out. .
1-1. The Variations of the Ebola Virus.
Ebola Zaire was the first recorded occurrence of the Ebola virus in man. Ebola Zaire is so far the most lethal of the Ebola strains with a fatality rate between 80 - 90 %. It was isolated after the Zaire outbreak in 1976. .
The Ebola Sudan outbreak occurred roughly the same time that the Ebola Zaire outbreak took place. The Sudan variation has a fatality rate of between 50 - 60 %.