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Ebola--Real Life and Movies

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Flesh-eating Viruses in Real Life and in the Movies

Essay One Outline:

1) Introduction: Straying from the truth is a must when making any movie especially one adapted from real life occurrences. It is the only way production companies can make money off the movie. In the move Outbreak, several liberties were taken to make the story of the Ebola ‘incident’ more exciting.

a) In the movie there were numerous statements, portrayals and plot devices used for dramatic purposes only, and did not in fact occur in the real life Ebola scare.

i) The Ebola virus spreads at an epidemic rate when in the USA and dissimilar to known Ebola strain it is airborne it is not transmitted by direct human-to-human contact.

ii) The Ebola virus had a 100% mortality rate within a one day.

iii) Character Maj. Gen. Donald McClintock wants to control the virus and use it as a biological weapon.

2) Plot Device #1: The Ebola virus spreads at an epidemic rate when in the USA.

a) In the movie the virus is airborne. It is spread through recycled air on a passenger jet, or a sneeze in a crowded movie theater. The virus spreads through a small town in California in addition to the outbreak in Reston, Virginia.

3) Real Life: People can be exposed to Ebola virus from direct contact with the blood and/or secretions of an infected person.

a) The virus is often spread through families and friends because they come in close contact with such secretions when caring for infected persons.

i) People can be exposed to Ebola virus through contact with objects, such as needles, that have been contaminated with infected secretions.

ii) Nosocomial transmission refers to the spread of a disease within a health-care setting, such as a clinic or hospital.

iii) All Ebola virus species have displayed the ability to be spread through airborne particles (aerosols) under research conditions; this type of spread has not been documented among humans in a real-world setting, such as a hospital or household.

4) Plot Device #2: The Ebola virus had a 100% mortality rate within a one day.

5) Real Life: The incubation period for Ebola HF ranges from 2 to 21 days. The onset of illness is abrupt and is characterized by fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. A rash, red eyes, hiccups and internal

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