ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Curious Case of Ebola Treatment in Africa vs. the West

Updated on October 9, 2014

Ebola Epidemiology

a map of the distribution of Ebola virus in Africa
a map of the distribution of Ebola virus in Africa | Source

A Short History of Ebola

According to various sources such as the WHO and CDC, the disease known as Ebola first manifested in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1976. This virus was named Ebola after the river near which it was identified. 88% of those infected succumbed to the disease. There was a simultaneous outbreak in the Sudan in the same year, this one known as Sudan virus, which killed 53% of those infected. Also in 1976, a laboratory infection of Sudan virus occurred in England. The single patient survived the accidental contamination. Between 1977 and 2013, various outbreaks have occurred in DRC, Sudan, the United States of America, Russia, the Philippines, Italy, Gabon, Ivory Coast, South Africa and Uganda. Mortality rates from these infections ranged from 25-100%. An interesting asterisk to these infections is the Reston virus derived from Philippine monkeys and introduced to human laboratory populations both in the U.S. and Philippines. In both cases, some patients developed antibodies to the virus but they were asymptomatic and none of them died.

Virus Strains

In 1976 the first outbreak in Sudan was known as Ebola-Sudan this followed few months later by EBOZ or Ebola-Zaire which emerged in Yambuku in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It recorded a mortality rate that is still the highest at 88%. However, the natural reservoir for Ebola has never been identified despite the best efforts of accomplished researchers. Reston virus or EBOR was the third strain of Ebola identified from monkeys imported from Mindanao in the Philippines to Reston Virginia. The last strain of Ebola is EBO-CI or Ebola Cote d’Ivoire which came to light in 1994. The current outbreak is as a result of EBOZ.

The Ebola Virus

an image of the Ebola virus
an image of the Ebola virus | Source
transmission of Ebola
transmission of Ebola | Source

Current Ebola Epidemic

The first case of the 2014 outbreak was recorded in Guinea on March 22nd. As of October 8th 2014, there were 8,000 people infected with Ebola in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia according to the latest report from the WHO. 3, 857 persons have died and the WHO report states that there is continued deterioration of the situation and transmission of the virus in these West African countries. There is no evidence that the outbreak is being brought under control in this region and there is under-reporting of incidence in key areas.

This scenario contrasts sharply with that in Western nations where those affected are few. The outbreak is just emerging in countries such as Spain and the U.S. In the United States experimental drugs are being used to treat patients. These include ZMapp (which is said to be depleted according to the Centre of Disease Control) TKM-Ebola and Brincidofovir which was given to Eric Duncan, the latest American casualty of Ebola. The use of experimental drugs on non-U.S patients is undocumented although CNN did report that drug companies claimed to have supplied ZMapp to those African countries that requested it.

Manifestations of Ebola
Manifestations of Ebola | Source

What Strengthens the Odds of Recovery?

If one observes the epidemiology of disease, it is clear that poverty is a factor of mortality in this disease, just like it is in many other illnesses such as Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and Malaria. Patients who receive early diagnosis and good supportive treatment as well as effective prevention mechanisms are far less affected than those who do not. Although the disease has been around since 1976, drugs to treat them are still apparently experimental and did not become available until the virus broke through African borders to infect Western patients.

Source

Solutions

The EBOZ strain that has proven to be quite virulent has escaped the borders of the West African nations and has the potential to become a worldwide phenomenon. Even as Western nations bolster their defenses and prepare to deflect any manifestations of this virus within their borders, the hard truth is that anyone is now vulnerable and no-one can claim immunity to the possibility of national outbreak. It has therefore become necessary for the world to work together, share information, and remedies for prevention and reduction of infections in order to bring this outbreak to an end. However, each and every community needs to do its part to bolster its clinical ability to cope and anticipate potential crises such as these.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • AnnemarieMusawale profile imageAUTHOR

      Annemarie Musawale Simiyu 

      4 years ago from Kenya

      Yes. I was told to remove it or risk violation.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Very interesting and terrifying information here. It seems the USA has failed miserably in containing it so far. I hope they learn and quick. Voted up.

      p.s. I left a comment on your "sex" hub, but I see it's gone....thought that may happen, they are kind of strict on content here...it was good though.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)