From: email@example.com (The Lemon Merchant)
Subject: ebola: an unpleasent way to die
>If you've been not following the news, the ebola virus has broken out
(again) in Zaire. Hundreds are dead or dying already. There is no cure.
While the news media have been good at telling us its deadly, they seem to
have avoided the details. Someone sent them to me. Nasty is not even a
word to describe this. Sounds more like a bio-weapon than anything else.
The timing is good too, since "VIRUS" a TV movie based on the book
/Outbreak/ was on TV Monday.
>>you should read this while eating or something...
>>Copied without permission from _The Hot Zone_, by Richard Preston.
>>Ebola Zaire attacks every organ and tissue in the human body except
skeletal muscle and bone. It is a perfect parasite because it transforms
virtually every part of the body into a digested slime of virus particles.
The seven mysterious proteins that, assembled together, make up the
Ebola-virus particle, work as a relentless machine, a molecular shark, and
they consume the body as the virus makes copies of itself. Small blood
clots begine to appear in the bloodstream, and the blood thickens and
slows, and clots begine to stick to the walls of blood vessels. This is
known as pavementing, because the clots fit together in a mosaic. The
mosaic thickens and throws more clots, and the clots drift through the
blodstream into the small capillaries, where they get stuck. This shuts
off the blood supply to various parts of the body, causing dead spots to
apear in the brain, liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines, testicles, breast
tissue (of men as well as women), and all through the skin. The skin
develops red spots, called petechiae, which are hemorrhages under the
skin. Ebola attacks connective tissue with particular ferocity; it
multiplies in collegen, the chief constituent protein of the tissue that
holds the organs togehter. (The seven Ebola proteins somehow chew up the
body's structural proteins.) In this way, collagen in the body turns to
mush, and the underlayers of the skin die and liquefy. The skin bubbles up
into a sea of tiny white blisters mixed with red spots known as a
maculopapular rash. This rash has been likened to tapioca pudding.
Spontaneous rips appear in the skin, and hemmoraghic blood pours from the
rips. The red spots on the skin grow and spread and merge to become huge,
spontaneous bruises, and the skin goes soft and pulpy, and can tear off if
it is touched with any kind of pressure. Your mouth bleeds, and you bleed
around your teeth, and you may have hemorrhages from the salivary glands
-- literally every opening in the body bleeds, no matter how small. The
surface if the toungue turns brilliant red and the sloughs off, and is
swallowed or spat out. It is said to be extraordinarily painful to lose
the surface of one's tongue. The tongue's skin may be torn off during
rushes of thre black vomit. The back of the throat and the lining of the
wind pipe may also slough off, and the dead tissue slides down the
windpipe into the lungs or is coughed up with sputum. Your heart bleeds
into itself; the heart muscle softens and has hemorrhages into its
chambers, and blood squeezes out of the heart muscle as the heart beats,
and it floods the chest cavity. The brain becomes clogged with dead blood
cells, a conditions known as sludging of the brain. Ebola attacks the
lining of the eyeball, and the eyeballs may fill up with blood: you may go
blind. Droplets of blood stand out on the eyelids: you may weep blood. The
blood runs from your eyes down your cheeks and refuses to coagulate. You
may have a hemispherical stroke, in which one whole side of the body is
paralyzed, which is invariably fatal in a case of Ebola. Even while the
body's internal organs are becoming plugged with coagulated blood, the
blood that streams out of the body cannot clot; it resembles whey being
squeezed out of curds. The blood has been stripped of its clotting
factors. If you put the runny Ebola blood in a test tube and look at it,
you see that the blood is destroyed. Its red cells are broken and dead.
The blood looks as if it has been buzzed in an electric blender.
>>Ebola kills a great deal of tissue while the host is still alive. It
triggers a creeping, spotty necrosis that spreads through all the internal
organs. The liver bulges up and turns yellow, begins to liquefy, and then
it cracks apart. The cracks run across the liver and deep inside it, and
the liver completely dies and goes putrid. The kidneys becomes jammed with
blood clots and dead cells, and cease functioning. As the kidneys fail,
the blood becomes toxic with urine. The spleen turns into a single huge,
hard blood clot the size of a baseball. The intestines may fill up
completely with blood. The lining of the gut dies and sloughs off into the
bowels and is defecated along with large amounts of blood. In men, the
testicles bloat up and turns black-and-blue, the semen goes hot with
Ebola, and the nipples may bleed. In women, the labia turn blue, livid,
and protrusive, and there may be massive vaginal bleeding. The virus is a
catastrophe for a pregnant woman: the child is aborted spontaneously and
is usually infected with Ebola virus, born with red eyes and a bloody
>>Ebola destroys the brain more thoroughly than does Marburg, and Ebola
victims often go into epileptic convulsions during the final stage. The
convulsions are generalized grand mal seizures -- the whole body twitches
and shakes, the arms and legs thrash around, and the eyes, sometimes
bloody, roll up into the head. The tremors and convulsions of the patient
may smear or splatter blood around. Possibly this epileptic splashing of
blood is one of Ebola's strategies for success -- it makes the victim go
into a flurry of seizures as he dies, spreading blood all over the place,
thus giving the virus a chance to jump to a new host -- a kind of
transmission through smearing.
>>Ebola (and Marburg) multiplies so rapidly and powerfully that the body's
infected cells become crystal-like blocks of packed virus particles. These
crystal are broods of virus getting ready to hatch from the cell. They are
known as bricks. The bricks, or crystals, first appear near the center of
the cell and then migrate towards the surface. As a crystal reaches a cell
wall, it disintegrates into hundres of individual virus particles, and the
broodlings push through the cell wall like hair and floot away in the
bloodstream of the host. The hatched Ebola particles cling to cells
everywhere in the body, and get inside them, and continue to multiply. It
keeps on multiplying until areas of tissue all through the body are filled
with crystalloids, which hatch, and more Ebola particles drift into the
bloodstream, and the amplification continues inexorably until a droplet of
the hosts blood can contain a hundred million individual particles.
>>After death, the cadaver suddenly deteriorates: the internal organs,
having been dead or partially dead for days, have already begun to
dissolve, and a sort of shock-related meltdown occurs. The corpse's
connective tissue, skin, and organs, already peppered with dead spots,
heated by fever, and damaged by shock, begin to liquefy, and the fluids
that leak from the cadaver are saturated with Ebola-virus particles.
>>--------- end of excerpt ---------
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter Dudey Drake)
How many Stangs of pain does one suffer when dying of Ebola? Will
there be a lot of this on X-day?
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