Problems and Prevention's of Ebola and AIDS
Research Paper #4
Thursday,
April 18, 1996

Viruses have become of great concern all across the
world in the last few decades. The most common and the most talked about killer
virus is AIDS, a virus that starts out as HIV and then proceeds to develop
into a immune breaker that ultimately kills its human host. So far, there
is no cure for AIDS, and most unfortunately the numbers of deaths from AIDS
only continues to grow. However, another virus has gained much public and
national attention. That virus is called Ebola. It is thought that Ebola's
effect on humans is restricted to Zaire, Africa. Viruses that kill people
in large masses is a major threat to mankind; the only hopes of destroying
the viruses is dependant upon technology.
AIDS is a deadly disease
that most people understand as a sexually transmitted disease. In fact, the
virus can be transmitted sexually, but it can also be transmitted through blood
transfusions. The fact that it can be transmitted sexually causes a great
problem. Everyday, enormous amounts of people have sex--some people with different
partners. People may have less sex than before because of the threat that
the virus poses, but it has already started, and cannot be stopped until a
cure is found. Unlike Ebola, AIDS was not detected as early as one would
have hoped. The AIDS virus can stay dormant for over a decade before it is
noticed as a real problem (Shenon 8). During that decade, the virus can
spread like a wild fire. One person contracts the virus, transmits it to another,
and another, and so on. As Shenon explains, AIDS became recognized as a real
problem in the early seventies and was mostly concentrated in the United States
and in Africa, but surprisingly it reached Asia a decade
afterward. He goes
on to explain that AIDS has spread exponentially in Asia. Thailand, recognized
for its proliferation of prostitutes and illegal promotion of sex with children,
could be held responsible for the tremendous outbreak of the virus in Asia,
explains Shenon. He also points out that now that the virus has already broken
out, Asia has the best AIDS prevention agenda in the world (8). For now
the best prevention of AIDS that is available is education and protected sex.
Until a cure is found for the ruthless virus, this is the only means of prevention
that is available to the public.
Ebola is one of the most rapidly
fatal viruses on the planet and is believed to have begun somewhere in Zaire,
Africa (Altman 3). There is no positive explanation as to how the virus is
spread. When the virus is contracted by humans it causes hemorrhagic fevers
and becomes extremely transmittable (A Case of Deadly Virus 4). Like the AIDS
virus, Ebola has no cure. The only advantage of prevention that Ebola has
over AIDS is that it does not stay dormant for decades therefore, it can be
isolated much quicker. Being able to isolate the virus in one town or country
makes the termination of it much easier. It seems inevitable that the two
most deadly viruses in the world are contracted by the idea of self preservation.
As stated earlier, AIDS is transmitted sexually, and Ebola is widely spread
through the consumption of chimpanzee meat that is a common delicacy in Asia
(A Case of Deadly Virus 4). Just as sex is an act that is very widespread
all around the world, eating chimpanzee meat in Asia is som
ething that is
very common. It is very hard to stop the spread of a disease when it is spread
by something that seems "second nature" to a person. The action that probably
ultimately stopped the virus from spreading to neighboring countries is the
fact that the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the WHO (World Health Organization)
were prompt to go the scenes of outbreak and begin studying the virus (A Case
of Deadly Virus 4). When just one man became infected with the disease in
the western Ivory Coast, the WHO were on the case to examine the problem (A
Case of Deadly Virus 4). Unfortunately, the people that are trying to stop
the spread of the virus and those who are close with the victims are those
people that have the greatest chance of being infected (Altman 3).

After a great deal of studying the ways that the virus is spread, it became
evident that there are other ways to become infected except by the eating of
chimp meat. As depicted by Altman, scientists