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Why the World Needs to be Worried About Ebola

Updated on August 19, 2014

The recent outbreak of Ebola in Africa is slowly spiraling out of control, with health authorities being concerned that the virus has the potential of going global. Ebola is a lethal virus with a 90% lethality rate and no known cure till date, which makes it even more dangerous should it spread across continents.

However, people in countries such as Liberia are still under the illusion that everything is OK and that the government is deliberately spreading rumors about an Ebola pandemic in the country, in spite of the fact that close to 826 people in Africa have already died of the virus till now.

One good example of how close we could be towards a global pandemic was the death of Patrick Sawyer, a resident of United States, working for the Liberian finance ministry. Sawyer contracted the disease while tending to his sick sister in Liberia and subsequently getting infected and succumbing to the disease himself in Nigeria—he was set to return to his family in the US.

Globally the hunt for a cure for the deadly virus has been expedited and currently an experimental serum is in the making; however, if and when that will be ready for mass production is still unknown. The reason we all should be closely watching the situation in Africa is because an outbreak of this scale has never been witnessed before, ever since the virus was first discovered and now with Nigeria falling as a victim to the virus, the scope of Ebola going global has increased manifolds.

Even though the virus can’t be spread without direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person; someone could easily escape being detected and unknowingly carry the disease to a new country, as was the case with Patrick Sawyer who had boarded an Asky airlines flight out of Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, to Lagos in Nigeria.

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It could very well be possible that someone on that flight likely came in contact with Patrick Sawyer and got infected with the virus and in spite of the vigil by the Nigerian health authorities and government officials, could have escaped detection and is carrying the disease with him in some part of the world.

The world needs to unite and come together to help the African nations in fighting the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus before it becomes a global pandemic. What is happening in Africa right now is of utmost significance and if the virus is not contained, it could pose a grave risk to the world at large.

Health officials getting ready to treat Ebola patients
Health officials getting ready to treat Ebola patients

How to Avoid Being Infected or Contracting the Disease

  • Avoid places where infections are high.
  • Postpone all non-essential visits to infected countries till the situation is resolved or brought under control.
  • Avoid close physical contact with infected or dead animals or people in the affected areas.
  • Avoid mass gatherings where you could be in close proximity of people.
  • If visiting someone infected with EVD (Ebola viral disease) wear protective clothing and discard the protective clothing by incinerating clothes once used.
  • Report any suspected Ebola cases to health authorities and await further instructions.

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