How Does Ebola Kill the Infected Person?


Quick Answer

Ebola kills infected individuals through blood loss and organ failure, says WebMD. The worm-like Ebola virus attaches itself to the surface of healthy cells, invading the cells, replicating, and causing the cells to explode, which releases infectious particles that can then spread and continue the cycle.

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Full Answer

Through its aggressive spreading technique, Ebola overpowers the immune system, using cells designed to fight infection as transportation to other parts of the body, including the spleen, kidneys, liver and brain. WebMD explains that Ebola affects almost every tissue and organ in the body, setting off an inflammatory reaction that causes the flu-like symptoms most people experience at the onset of the disease.

The virus also causes abnormal bleeding and clotting at the same time in the blood vessels, as well as bleeding into the skin that results in a rash all over the body, according to WebMD. Because the disease destroys the body's normal clotting ability, abnormal bleeding occurs both internally and from the eyes, nose and ears.

The result of this entire set of events is that the organs ultimately fail. It is this organ failure along with the loss of blood that kills individuals infected with Ebola. However, WebMD states that with proper medical treatments including ventilators, blood transfusions, intravenous fluids and more the chances of surviving the infection increase greatly.

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