This article describes several of the hundreds of viruses which are out there in our world for which there is no cure.
In today’s technology, one would think we would be able to conquer every virus that has come our way. That, however, is not the case. Some viruses are swift and some culminate over years. Rapid mutations increase the possibility of a pandemic. Most of today’s deadly diseases are caused by biological agents originating among wild animals but have mutated and jumped species barriers.
A virus consists of submicroscopic parasites that can invade anything, plant, animal or human. Viruses are unable to replicate without a host cell. They are usually shaped as rods, harpoons, spheres of filaments. Every one of us is a possible target. Once you are infected your body becomes a mass-producing copier of the parasites. Not all viruses strike their host immediately. Some take years.
HIV, better known as AIDS, is a world wide pandemic. It began in 1985. More than 25 million people have died from this disease. It cannot be destroyed. Often, there is a period of infection without symptoms. When they do occur, they are rapid weight loss, fever, cough, fatigue, swollen lymph glands, diarrhea, blemishes in the mouth or on the tongue, pneumonia, skin lesions, and as one would expect, depression.
AIDS stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome because of its’ damage to the immune system. It is transmitted through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream containing the virus, such as blood, semen and vaginal fluid. It is commonly known to be transmitted through sex. Most researchers believe HIV originated in Africa during the twentieth century, but was not recognized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention until 1981. It is now widely believed that one third of all new infections are caused by the sharing of needles containing drugs and with the needle, microscopic infection from blood. Of course, we all remember when the outbreak was rampant in the 1980’s and everyone was blaming HIV on homosexuality. Homosexuality did play it’s share in the spread of the virus, but not as much as was initially believed. Nevertheless, HIV remains a killer that has no known cure and continues to threaten millions of lives.
Ebola is a virus that prevents the blood from clotting. It is a rather physically disturbing disease, in the fact that the victim’s body hemorrhages, causing bleeding from the mouth, nose, eyes and internal organs. Ten percent of infected people survive, however, infections are rare. The first outbreak occurred in the Congo in 1976; an estimated 800 people died. Scientists are working on a vaccine, but nothing of advanced development has occurred. Ebola is extremely infectious. The potential for a pandemic outbreak is considered very low.