What’s Cooking in the Hot Zone: EBOLA

A health worker in protective clothing holds a child suspected of having Ebola in the Paynesville treatment center on October 5. Photo from CNN

A health worker in protective clothing holds a child suspected of having Ebola in the Paynesville treatment center on October 5.
Photo from CNN

The deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history began with just a handful of cases in Guinea in March.

The Ebola virus first appeared in 1976 in Nzara, Sudan and Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The disease is thought to have come from certain bats living in tropical African forests. According to the Word Health Organization, “Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelopes and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.” Ebola has an incubation period of two to 21 days after infection.

Early symptoms of Ebola are:

  • sudden onset of fever
  • fatigue
  • muscle pain
  • headache
  • sore throat

After Ebola sets in, the early symptoms are followed by diarrhoea, a rash and bleeding – both internal and external, which can be seen in the gums, eyes, nose and stool.

Ebola has the whole world trembling with this most recent outbreak. According to CNN, Ebola is one of the world’s most deadliest diseases. “It is a highly infectious virus that can kill up to 90% of the people who contract it, causing terror among infected communities. The death rate in this outbreak has dropped to roughly 55% because of early treatment.” It has people in such fear because there is no vaccine against it.

Since the outbreak began in March, 729 people of the 1,323 total confirmed infections have died, reports WHO as of July 27. This is the deadliest outbreak in history because the virus is spreading in heavily-populated urban areas, as opposed to rural areas. It is also spreading rapidly. It has spread to neighboring countries Sierra Leone and Liberia making it harder to contain as it spreads. We have also seen cases spread as far as Europe and the United States. According to BBC, “There have been more cases and deaths in this one than all other outbreaks combined.”

Ebola is killing people and destroying lives more rapidly than every before. World organizations are having trouble containing the disease. Pharmaceutical companies are working with experimental drugs, trying to halt the outbreak. However, some people who have received the experimental drugs have still died. Although some who have been administered the drugs survived, we still do not have a concrete solution to this world problem. We need to continue searching for a cure, and the United States needs to spearhead the global humanitarian coalition that will relieve this crisis.

Overall, people shouldn’t be worried about Ebola running rampant through the United States. We have top-koch medical care and the resources to manage this outbreak. We should be more concerned with the well-being of the people really suffering from this effects of this disease in Africa. We should be concerned from a humanitarian stand point. You probably won’t get Ebola, but there is still someone that will.

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