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.