what makes Ebola so dangerous? How can a virus overwhelm the very complex defense system of the body so quickly and so effectively? In this article, we are going to known about how Ebola virus works.
Ebola is a virus. A virus is a very small thing. A bit of RNA and DNA and a few proteins and a hull. Ebola has a lack of the ability to do anything by itself whatsoever, and can only survive and proliferate by infecting cells. To avoid this we have the immune system. The immune system is very complex so we would try to develop a visual system that makes it easy to understand. Let’s concentrate on the part that is critical to understand Ebola and ignore the rest.
So usually dendritic cells will activate the army of the antivirus cells, support cell and antibody factories that work together with the guard cells wipe out the infection in a matter of days. But when Ebola strikes, it directly attacks the immune system. Some of the first cells it takes over are the dendritic cells, the brain of the immune system, The Ebola virus enters a dendritic cell by binding into receptors for cell transport. Once it is inside, it dissolves its outer hull and releases its genetic material, nucleoproteins, and enzymes. In a nutshell, it takes over the cell, disables the cell protective mechanism and reprograms it.
The cell now becomes a virus production machine and uses its resources to build more Ebola viruses. Once the cell is saturated, it dissolves the cell membrane and millions of viruses are released into the tissue. The virus not only prevents the dendritic cells from activating the specialized and anti-virus forces, But It also manipulates them into sending signal proteins that tricks specialized cells into ending their own life prematurely.
So the immune system is seriously disrupted and unable to react while the virus rapidly multiplies, we are talking billions, there are cells that should deal with infected cells, the natural killer cells, but they also get infected just before they can prevent the disease from spreading. At the same time Ebola infects the guard cells of the human body macrophages and monocytes, not only managing to circumvent their defenses, but it also manipulates some to signal to the cells make up the blood vessels telling them to release fluid into the body. Usually this makes sense, but in this case, it just causes mayhem.
All of the body’s neutrophils are activated awaken by the virus and the macrophages signals then are not very effective against viruses and should not be involved in this fight and begin to do lots of stuff they shouldn’t do. The neutrophils give the signal to the blood vessels to release more and more fluid causing internal bleeding. Another area of the body on which the Ebola attacks is the liver, The virus finds it very easy to enter the liver and it quickly starts killing loads of liver cells and causing organ failure and more internal bleeding.
And all those things are going on at the same time. As the virus spreads, it’s like nukes exploding everywhere inside the patient. One incident of this in one region will be enough problem, But now is starting to happen everywhere at once. All the mechanisms of the immune system have evolved to handle infection work against you. And the virus continues to spread and spread. And finally begins to infect more body cells while the body desperately struggles to stay alive. In a desperate last effort to turn the tide, the immune system launches a cytokine storm.
A cytokine is an S.O.S signal that causes the immune system to launch all of its weapons, all at once in a desperate kamikaze attack. This makes the virus to get hurts but leaves behind tons of collateral damage, especially in the blood vessels. Paradoxically the healthier the immune system, the more damage it can do to itself immune system.
More and more fluid leaves the bloodstream. Blood pours after every opening of the body. You become seriously dehydrated that just now blood left to supply the organs with oxygen and cells begin to die. If you reach this point the chance of you dying is very high. Approximately six out of ten infected dies from Ebola.