Update on the Ebola Virus Disease

I stopped posting on this blog over six weeks ago, as I followed the Ebola Virus Disease. Let’s rehearse what has happened so far with the Ebola virus disease.  As of this date, October 25, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the number of Ebola outbreaks has exceeded 10,000 (actually now 10,141) and that it has resulted in 4,922 deaths. The WHO also indicated that the number could be much higher, because many families were keeping relatives at home rather than taking them to treatment centers, if only because many of the centers were overcrowded.

The three hardest hit countries are Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, where all but 27 cases have occurred.  The picture accompanying this posting is only illustrative, because it maps the outbreak in August 2014. Mali is the latest country to record a death, and it happens to be that of a two-year toddler girl. Over 40 people who have been in contact with her have been quarantined.

According to the current WHO report, Liberia remains the worst affected country, with 2,705 deaths; followed by Sierra Leone with 1,281 fatalities and followed by Guinea with 926 fatalities. Nigeria is believed to have recorded eight deaths and there has been one in Mali and one in the United States. Eight countries have registered cases in the outbreak. Meanwhile, in West Africa, The WHO has now declared both Senegal and virus-free.

There are so many pertinent areas about the Ebola disease outbreak. (These areas will be addressed in future blogs) Among them are the extreme inconceivable numbers of fatalities. There are very high death tolls for these countries that are not currently at war. There is untold poverty that surrounds the countries most affected and this is being spiraled out of control as the fragile economies of these nations are incapable of sustaining the problem. These countries have limited health care infrastructure and the health care professionals are very much overwhelmed. The disease does not spare the scare health care professionals, including those from elsewhere, who act as volunteers and or just want to help. There is no vaccine currently available to combat the disease. Yet, the disease itself is extremely manageable if caught in time and if intervention is properly applied. Again, here are the basics:

  • Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
  • Spread by body fluids, such as blood and saliva
  • Fatality rate can reach 90% – but current outbreak has mortality rate of about 70%
  • No proven vaccine or cure
  • Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery
  • Fruit bats, a delicacy for some West Africans, are considered to be virus’s natural host

So, overall the Ebola viral disease should be creating facts, not fear. What should one do after reading this current piece of information?

“In the US, the governors of the states of New York and New Jersey have ordered a mandatory 21-day quarantine period for all doctors and other travelers who have had contact with Ebola victims in West Africa.

Anyone arriving from affected West African countries without having had confirmed contact with Ebola victims will be subject to monitoring by public health officials.”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *