Ebola Explained — Simple Talk About How Ebola Takes Over Its Victims [VIDEO]
Ebola may not be dominating headlines the way it did a few weeks ago, but it's still a good time to make sure we all understand exactly how this deadly virus works. This short video describes the tricks Ebola plays on the human body that basically convince it to shut itself down and work hard at spreading the Ebola virus to all systems and cells. Complex processes are explained in an easy-to-understand way.
- Ebola is a virus that can’t do anything on its own, outside the body.
- Normally, when a body is infected, the immune system has cells designed to identify the infection and activate antibodies and other defensive cells.
- When Ebola infects the body, it heads straight for the cells that should signal danger to the antibodies and takes them over.
- Ebola reprograms those cells and they tell the rest of the immune system that everything is o.k. and it can shut down any attack.
- The Ebola virus then turns the signal cells into Ebola virus factories and as they build strength, the cells dissolve and release billions of Ebola cells into the body.
- False messages are sent to other parts of the immune system that would kick in as a second line of defense, and then there is nothing left to attack the rapidly multiplying Ebola virus.
- The virus then takes over other systems and cells, when it has mass-produced itself and used the immune system to travel through the tissue.
- For example, it takes over cells in the blood that talk to blood vessels and reprograms them to signal to the blood vessels to release fluids into the body.
- Those fluids release more fluid and cause a snowball effect of signals to release more and more fluid into the body, causing internal bleeding.
- Ebola also attacks the liver, killing liver cells and causing organ failure and even more internal bleeding.
- Finally, the body makes one last, big immune system effort to shut all of this spreading and bleeding down. This hurts the virus, but also damages the blood vessels and other systems, because that’s where the virus is now.
- At this point, fluid is rapidly leaving the blood stream, blood is coming out of every opening, the body is seriously dehydrated and organs aren’t getting enough oxygen, so cells are dying and systems are shutting down. Six in 10 victims are terminal at this stage.