• Question: What does Ebola do to your body?

    Asked by Mariha to Andy, Tatiana on 26 Jun 2015.
    • Photo: Tatiana Trantidou

      Tatiana Trantidou answered on 26 Jun 2015:

      Ebola is an infection of the whole system, which means that it affects every organ and tissue apart from the bones and muscles. Ebola first attacks the immune system, by releasing some proteins which weaken the body’s defense mechanisms. So the body is not able to defend itself from the infection. Then the virus reproduces very fast in the parts of our organs which have collagen. The virus effectively destroys the tissue. The virus also prevents our body from forming blood clots (when the body wants to stop a bleed, it forms blood clots). The virus causes the patient’s blood to slowly thicken, so the blood flow decreases. As the clots begin to get stuck in the blood vessels, red spots are formed on the skin. As the disease progresses, these clots and the skin spots increase in size. The organs cannot get enough supply of blood due to these clots. At the final stage, the patient has severe bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose which can appear suddenly. This usually happens at the last stage of the disease. The patient dies, generally because of the massive blood he/she lost and also because the blood pressure drops a lot due to the damage done to the blood vessels.