In a world invaded and almost haunted with horrifying stories of biological threats, the lowly parasite suddenly is spot lighted on world stage. Parasites are not only a part of the human system, at times contributory to health but it is also a transport system of dreaded pathogens, bacteria or viruses fatal to man.
Ebola virus is the most feared and dreaded of them all to date. Also known as EHF, Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a highly contagious illness that is often fatal in humans and non human primates (monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees). It was first recognized in 1976 and since then it has appeared sporadically. The virus gets its name from a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it was first discovered.
Although viruses are not basically parasites but it is parasites which are used conveniently as their vehicles. Viruses are transported by parasites. While the host may not be the exact beneficiary of viruses which gains a life of its own even without any host, it is the parasite that assists the virus to replicate on the host where the parasite is simply accommodated.
In parasitism, it is the non-mutual symbiotic relationship between species where one species, the parasite benefits at the expense of the other, the host.
It is a biological truism that parasites live longer than their hosts. It is an organism that grows, feeds and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing little or nothing at all to the survival of its host. This is so because parasites consume their host gradually and thereafter would proceed to look for more hosts to partake. It is in their character, it is in their design and orientation to live off on the fat and eventually on the life of their benefactors. Such is their fate and it is never a character defect unless they are formerly hosts that shifted towards parasitism or has been transformed into parasites in the long stretch.
Parasites mimic their hosts and would even act like one to be compatible and accepted. They are virtually a part of the system and understood every idiosyncrasy in it. If at all they are to attack the system, like an inside job, the task is peanuts. They attack with impunity and with success. The host is even a willing participant in the parasitic activities also by being unhygienic or careless. In no time, the host becomes the playing ground of the parasite until such time what remains of the host has no more importance for the parasite. In the sacred life cycle, it is usually the parasite that ends up on top of the loop.
For those exposed, inoculation is the only remedy. For those infected, there is little technology can do. In a world literally invaded by a contagion of invisible living particles, man has no room for survival except for his intellectual sensitivity to dodge and evade its presence within his environs.
Pitted against an infected atmosphere, man’s mind must never rest from being vigilant and aware on health practices. It is his consciousness more than his instinct that makes his life not only bearable but perpetual in the face of death.