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Somgolie Ozodigwe

Understanding Hot Viruses


Hot Viruses are lethally infective agents and the term originates from the book The Hot Zone which is where the term first appeared. The two hot viruses that my research focuses in on are Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever and Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever. The Hot Zone serves as a focal point for my extended inquiry paper because it is the book that initially peaked my interest in this topic. The sources used in this presentation will help build on the research that I currently already have to build more depth in my current standing.

In the first source titled "Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever: The Forgotten Cousin Strikes" the journal analyzes the original few recent outbreaks of the disease after several years of it's seeming long-time disappearance in African communities. While mentioning the origins of Marburg, the writing covers the countries that the newer outbreaks occurred which include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Kenya. In recognizing Marburg as a rarity in the community, comparisons between the different cases over the years have been compared in order to gain better knowledge of the disease. In 1967 during the first reported outbreak in Germany after lab workers worked on monkeys from Uganda, the mortality rate of the virus at the time was reported to have been 23 percent. In the newer outbreak years later, the mortality rate rose to 83 percent, meaning it has grown more aggressive.

Marburg's first incidences were through a series of single cases or index cases. Marburg would either affected one individual or a community in the few times that it emerged after 1967. The recent outbreak of Marburg also came to be the first community outbreak which was in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1998. Miners were infected with Marburg and spread it to their families. The outbreak was around the area in which prior cases had been known to occur. The Angolan outbreak is known to be the largest outbreak Africa has seen to date and which was surprising because it affected many children who were infected which is usually not as common when analyzing the outbreaks of these specific types of filoviruses. Ebola, the cousin of Marburg, has also had its' fair share re- occurrences with cases in Philippines having been reported years after it was last heard of and outside of region in which prior cases had been reported. Even though it has been recognized that African fruit bats may act as source for replication and supply, it's natural reservoir remains unknown. The newer cases of Marburg and Ebola have inspired more work amongst researchers and doctors to better understand the virus for better ways of combating it in the future

This particular article explicitly covers the return of Marburg and briefly Ebola into African communities in which they originated or formally found cases of the filoviruses. The title of the article comes back to act as the connector between the past of these two filoviruses by saying that although theses ferocious viruses were feared in the past, they have now recently come back into communities posing great fear again. By using an extensive amount of facts, the severity of Marburg and Ebola and it's affect on a population is branded into the reader. With a series of numbers ranging from the different genetic lineages of Marburg strands to the outbreaks in unexpected locations, this piece appears to put much emphasis on understanding it's reservoir or lack of that later influence it's system of outbreak. Marburg is referred to as the forgotten cousin to the popular and aggressive filovirus Ebola which was also mentioned in the article.

I find this source to be credible and useful for this part of my research because a Medical Doctor authored this writing. This source also touched up on more recent facts that my primary source The Hot Zone did not mention because this source highlights the recency of the virus in relation to the community that it has affected while simultaneously confirming more of the facts that I'd previously gathered. Although I don't feel that I gained a grand amount of information that was relevant to the direction in which my EIP focuses on which is simply answering one of the questions of "What is a Hot Virus", I do think this source helps to better paint the imagery behind the definition of hot virus. This source also aids in allowing readers to understand why these particular filoviruses are a source of worry for those that are in susceptibility to becoming infected.

In the book review for "Virus Hunters: Thirty Years of Battling Hot Viruses", M.D. Negro analyzes Colonel CJ Peters account of tracing the ins and outs of hot viruses from a researcher's prospective. For 30 years Peters and others went through a series of steps that ranged from interviews to clinical observations to uncover how hot viruses such as Ebola which was mentioned came to be and how many factors collectively made it difficult to understand in totality when it was not a "backyard" disease for Americans. Up until the emergence of the Ebola Reston strand which emerged in Reston, Virginia in 1990, Ebola was as said not a virus that seemingly threatened the American region of the world. "Peters underscores the fact that the largest issue in public health is the deprivation in overcrowded megacities, and that 'bugs come second.' " The politics of the maintenance of infectious diseases and agents are explored which include the difficulty of government funded programs that work to combat hot viruses as well. Peters brings readers into his world so that those in and outside of the profession of biomedical sciences can understand his difficult journey better.

I decided to use a review of an original source of my research to use someone else's interpretation as support to my own personal interpretation of much of the material I gather during this process of writing. This review was also done by a Medical Doctor, Francesco Negro of The University of Geneva Medical School. To learn of hot viruses not through statistics of those that have been affected but instead those that are fighting to contain the disease through agencies like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was relieving because it's necessary to hear science through different perspectives of those that are involved in different ways. Because Colonel CJ Peters was an active part of the uncovering of the hot viruses in The Hot Zone, learning of his personal and extended experience in uncovering viruses made this reference very valid.

This source can be used in the area of my research covering the extended understanding portion of my work because my introduction only introduces hot viruses while this source will help to dive in explaining the depth of hot viruses through a more versatile perspective. Hunting for hot viruses is a broad goal and this review of an original source can help to captivate the difficulties in learning about hot viruses that are not only just Marburg and Ebola to help answer one of my questions of "What is a Hot Virus?"

How

does this disease pose as a current threat to people around the world? What has been done so far to tame or combat outbreaks? How can the natural reservoir of Marburg and Ebola be found and using what steps? Why may the mortality rates of those infected with the virus be rising?

Feldmann,

M.D. Heinz. "Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever The Forgotten Cousin Strikes." New England Journal of Medicine, 31 Aug. 2006. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
Hunter: Thirty Years of Battling Hot Viruses around the World." The New England Journal of Medicine. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2014.

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