Ebola Virus


This assignment was a little strange and only vaguely related to To Kill a Mockingbird, but I knew Grace would enjoy it, so I went ahead and let her have at it. 😉  There is an incident in To Kill a Mockingbird that involves a dog with rabies, so this assignment branched out a bit in that direction.  First we discussed rabies: how you get it, the treatment, the symptoms, etc.  Then Grace got to pick a disease from a list (oh boy!) for a little bit of research.  This was, of course, a rather short assignment, not a full-on research project, so I only required a couple of sources and a short write-up.  She went straight for Ebola, and this is what she found:


The Ebola virus is a contagious disease that originated in Africa, but has never infected a human in the United States. It it spread through direct contact of an infected organism or bite of an infected animal. Symptoms include vomiting, sore throat, stomach pain, dehydration, diarrhea, weakness, rash, dry, hacking cough, fever, muscle and joint pain, severe headache, internal and external bleeding, and hiccups.

Scientists do not know where exactly the virus came from, but suspect from some sort of animal host. There has been a report of infected monkeys imported from the Philippines for lab-work. Some of the researchers became infected, but showed no sign of the illness. Still, scientists suspect that the virus originated in primates similar to the monkeys. There is no vaccine nor cure for the virus, but scientists are working to find one.











5 responses »

  1. If she’s interested in diseases, history, and reading, there’s a book called “The Doomsday Book” by Connie Willis. It’s about a historian that goes back in time from the future to study medieval history. Unfortunately, she was accidentally sent back to the black plague. At the same time in “modern” England (at least modern to the story) there is a plague that runs parallel. It’s a REALLY interesting story. Corde and I are going to read it together as soon as I can find my copy…or buy a new one. It’ll only be the fourth time I’ve bought a copy! It was an interesting way to connect modern quarantine practices and the interesting “disease prevention” techniques of the middle ages. It’s beautifully written and the historic and medical references are well researched.

    I think she chose a great disease to research. We talked about that one in high school, though my favorite epidemic/pandemic has always been the bubonic plague.

    • That book sounds fantastic! I’m going to check my library’s web site for it right away. 🙂

      Another good historical fiction book about disease is Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. It’s about the yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia in 1793. Very interesting, and it’s a quick read.

      Ah, plagues. Good times. 😉

      • I will definitely have to look for that one too! I know it sounds depressing and all, but I LOVE learning about plagues. It’s not so much the diseases, but the way people react and the social aspect. It’s just so interesting to study.

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s