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Ebola V.S. The World - The 2014 Ebola Outbreak

Updated on October 19, 2014
An image taken at a ward set up for treating Ebola patients.
An image taken at a ward set up for treating Ebola patients. | Source

The Outbreak

By now I'm sure you've heard of the most recent Ebola Outbreak; originating in West Africa spreading from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to the US and Europe.

What Is Ebola?
Ebola is a extremely deadly virus of West African origin that can cause devastating symptoms and in the worst cases, death.

Symptoms of the Ebola Virus
The most prominent symptoms of Ebola are high fevers and massive internal bleeding.

The symptoms of Ebola include:

  • Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)
  • Severe headaches
  • Muscle pains
  • Weakness / Fatigue
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Unexplained haemorrhages (bleeding or bruising)

Symptoms can appear from anywhere between 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is about 8 to 10 days.

A photograph of communities coming together to fight against the Ebola outbreak.
A photograph of communities coming together to fight against the Ebola outbreak. | Source

The Fight Begins

Epidemic cases of the Ebola virus have occurred mainly in African countries, including:

  • Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo)
  • Gabon
  • Uganda
  • The Ivory Coast
  • Sudan

Who is at risk?
The Ebola virus is mainly a hazard to the laboratory workers who work around the virus and ultimately anyone who is / has been exposed to it.

Much to most peoples surprise the Ebola virus is not exactly new; the virus was actually first introduced in 1977 as a possible new "strain" of Marburg virus" by two research teams, with a third team introducing the name "Ebola virus".

The name and aberrations for the virus have been recycled a few times over the years and has been referred to as the following:

Virus Name(s):

  • Ebola Virus - 1977
  • Zaire Ebola Virus - 2000
  • Zaire Ebolavirus - 2002
  • Ebola Virus (reinstated name) - 2010

Abbreviation(s):

  • EBOV-Z (for Ebola virus Zaire)
  • ZEBOV (for Zaire Ebola Virus or Zaire Ebolavirus)
  • EBOV (for Ebola Virus)


Tubmanburg Ebola treatment unit forming in Africa.
Tubmanburg Ebola treatment unit forming in Africa. | Source

It's Time To Fight Back!

So what can we do to fight back against the latest Ebola outbreak?

A: We can help diagnose and start the process to treat Ebola along with supporting the charities who are helping to fund medical advancements towards curing the virus and getting the support to those who need it.

Diagnosing Ebola
Being able to actually diagnose Ebola can be difficult because the early symptoms, such as rashes and red eyes are quite common.

Ebola infections themselves can only really be diagnosed properly under laboratory conditions by trained professionals, however if you suspect that a friend, loved one, collogue or even you yourself have been or are at risk of getting Ebola and are showing the potential symptoms of the virus, then please contact the correct authorities in your area immediately.

Treating Ebola
Unfortunately, currently there is no specific treatment or vaccine for Ebola.

Standard treatment of Ebola is currently limited to supportive therapy; this entails maintaining the patients oxygen and blood pressure levels whilst constantly ensuring they are correctly hydrated and treating any potentially complicating infections.

Those who display symptoms of the Ebola virus are currently being placed into isolation as a precaution to avoid the spread of the virus further and so that public health professionals can help the infected individual.

Marines from the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force getting their temperature checked as they exit a KC-130.
Marines from the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force getting their temperature checked as they exit a KC-130. | Source

Current Statistics

As of the 18th of October 2014, the statistics for the 2014 Ebola outbreak(s) are as follows:

West Africa Outbreak
Guinea - 1472 cases, 843 deaths
Liberia - 4249 cases, 2458 deaths
Nigeria - 20 cases, 8 deaths
Senegal - 1 case, 0 Deaths
Sierra Leone - 3252 cases, 1183 deaths
Spain - 1 case, 0 Deaths
United States - 2 cases, 1 death

Total Cases = 18,996
Total Deaths = 6,562

Dr Congo Outbreak

68 cases, 49 deaths

Totals including Dr Congo outbreak:
Total Cases = 19,064
Total Deaths = 6,611

These statistics show that there are almost 3 times as many cases as there have been deaths, so far.

(Please note all listed statistics are only current to 18/10/2014, sourced from http://healthmap.org/)

A photograph of a scientist in the NIAID Laboratory of Allergic Diseases preparing DNA from a specimen.
A photograph of a scientist in the NIAID Laboratory of Allergic Diseases preparing DNA from a specimen. | Source

Funding The Fight

Governments all over the world have begun funding into finding a cure for Ebola, but they can't do it alone; that's where we come in.

Charities raising funding for Ebola Research
Charities have started funding the fight against the Ebola Virus, enabling more research into finding a cure.

The main charities making a stand against Ebola are:

  • American Red Cross
  • Africare
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • Direct Relief
  • Global Giving
  • MAP International
  • Samaritan's Purse

Donations made to any of these charities will be put towards research and support against the Ebola Outbreak

A photograph of one of the World Heath Organisation's Ebola Response Team sites
A photograph of one of the World Heath Organisation's Ebola Response Team sites | Source

So What's Next?

Governments and Charities with our help will continue to fund research to find a cure for Ebola.

What Does That Mean For Us?
It means we need to continue to help the charities raising awareness and funds to fight Ebola, giving what we can and aiding our local authorities to identify potential threats and diagnose cases of Ebola.

How Much Money Do We Need?
On the 16th of September, the UN (United Nations) Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) officially stated that they would need £617 Million ($988 Million) to tackle the disease until February 2015.

So far £240 Million ($378 Million) has been received, which is about 38% of the total amount "required" and a further £135 Million ($217 Million) has been pledged, all together being potentially half the "required" funds.

To Conclude...

With governments already funneling money into research leaves the rest up to us; our donations to charities like Doctors Without Borders and Direct Relief will be what makes it possible to beat Ebola as soon as humanly possible.

The fight is no longer a fight to be fought by the West Africans alone, the fight against the Ebola Virus is now a fight to be fought as a world united; it's Ebola V.S. The World and it's a fight we can win, a fight we will win if we all work together.

© 2014 Lee Skittrall

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      Lee Skittrall 2 years ago from Essex, United Kingdom

      Hello Aesta1 thank you so much for your comment, your feedback is muchly appreciated. That's really interesting, what sort of things did you have to fill in on the form? Yes we do, although Ebola is not new, it's still a threat.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You have presented the points very clearly and your concluding statement at the end is really good. Today, when we arrived in the airport in Cambodia, we had to fill up a health form that we have not been in Ebola affected places. We need to do what we can to support the areas that are vulnerable.