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Ebola Virus Disease: Pandemic or Epidemic?

Updated on August 9, 2023
Miebakagh57 profile image

A historian, computer geek, and interested in western, alternative and herbal medicine. A health enthusiast, fond of exercise and nutrition.


Ebola superspreader is a virus disease and is still around. In the year 2014, I repeatedly received text messages on my cell phone about the Ebola virus. I return from work as late as usual and my wife intimated to me of current local issues on the Ebola outbreak. I immediately connect to Google Ebola.

I was alarmed to the extent of my ignorance on the subject, and I at once consult Wikipedia and other authorities. I am not certified in medicine, but I write this story:

  • To inform and share.
  • To express an opinion as a global citizen.
  • To prepare against any challenge of the Ebola virus health issues.
  • I am an advocate of 'washing hands' before and after handling anything item that can contaminate a person or object within my household.
  • I had a keen interest in health and well-being.

The finding is this story you are about to read.

Doctors Attending To Ebola Victim

Ebola super-spread is still infectious
Ebola super-spread is still infectious | Source

Challenges and Issues of Ebola Disease

I begin this study by referencing trusted institutions. Ebola disease is so challenging and has many issues. This is giving doctors, scientists, and the laity many worries. It is easy to get the disease if care is not taken. But how does it develop in the human body? We all know the life cycle of a mosquito virus. So we are able to know how the disease breakout in the human body. Drugs that can destroy the mosquito virus are available. Some persons who have the Ebola disease are not even sick. Why is this? Within two to twenty-one days has been noted for the disease to build up in a person. But the disease can show up anytime. If it strikes on the first or second day, is it likely that the infected person has a high history of other ailments like typhoid, a fever, or a poor immune system? Medical scientists and doctors have not looked into such challenging issues. All they have told us is that the symptoms of common illnesses like a fever follow an attack of the Ebola virus. As these signs are similar, they are ruled out until the Ebola virus is confirmed in a patient.

Now the challenge arising is this: doctors, nurses, and researchers handling Ebola patients experienced death firsthand. Did they have a poor immune system? If so, what effort if any they took to develop their immune system? Could this infer that certain members of the populace have a very poor immune system? Should this be the case, what steps are the health institutions taking to educate the citizen?

'Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness.' This is coming from the World Health Organization. Does it mean every recovery from the Ebola disease, the virus remains latent in the individual? So if an unmarried person becomes infected and later got married being certified free from the disease, he would pass the Ebola virus to all his offspring? After these seven weeks of recovery, what happens next? All of these are serious questions.

Ebola Super Spreader Kills People

Characteristics of Ebola Virus

The manner in which the virus attacks the human response system is devastating. Being a powerful virus that overpowered its human prey, it dismantled both the human immune and response system. And then took a coup de grace on the vascular system.

By this virulent action, human cells in the body, particularly, the white blood cells that you know to act as a mechanism of defense against viruses, germs, and disease entities in the body are completely destroyed. For example, your doctor can note your white blood cell count in a malaria attack and make the necessary prescriptions. This will destroy the virus causing trouble in your body. It will start to restore your health within 48 hours. An Ebola virus attack is more than clockwork. It is a systematic attack that breaks down the body.

Posters Educate People to Fight Against Ebola

Ebola 2018
Ebola 2018 | Source

Ebola Virus Outbreaks

Virologists have so far identified five species of the Ebola virus. Three in Africa. One each in the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China respectively.

The outbreaks in the West African countries of Liberia, Ivory Coast (Burkina Faso), Guinea, and hitting Nigeria have given virologists and medical scientists enough thought to gear up and find a solution to the scourge. The World Health Organization (WHO) has been foremost in this. Each outbreak of the Ebola virus is named according to the spice.

  1. Ebola virus or Zaira Ebola virus or BOV: this was the first and most important. It is very deadly and has a mortality rate of 90% according to the WHO. This virus took its name from a branch of the Congo River, the Ebola River, hence the term, ebolavirus. It is this virus that is giving scientists and doctors a very tough time.

2. Sudan Ebola virus or SEBOV: this outbreak was simultaneous with the Zaira ebolavirus in 1976. The carrier of this virus is yet to be identified. Suspecting insects, birds, animals, and plants is not a better opinion. It was realized that due to the 'isolated facility', the spread of the virus was contained. But at least, a worker was infected and how? No one knows to date. There was a further outbreak of this virus in 2004. The death rate was above 50% but limited to 53%.

3. The United States Outbreak: Reston Ebola virus or REBOV. In 1989, an outbreak of the Ebola virus was discovered in Reston, Virginia in the United States. Then, later in Pennsylvania and Texas. Again, the same virus was discovered in Siena, Italy. In all these three cases, it was noted that imported pig meat from the Philippines and China was responsible. This proves that a culture of Ebola can be made and exported.

4. Tai Forest Ebola virus or CIEBOV: was found in Ivory Coast (Burkina Faso) among chimpanzees. This virus was noted as being similar to the Zaira and Sudan Ebola virus. The host of the infection was an animal called Western Red Columbus Monkey, which predominate between Senegal to Ghana. This animal was a hunt for its meat. Chimpanzees and gorillas prey and feed on their meat. Contact with the dead monkeys infected a human being.

5. Bundibugyo Ebola virus or BEDOV: the virus was discovered in Bundibugyo, in Uganda in 2007 and 2012. The same virus was later discovered in the Congo. It has a low mortality rate of 34%.

Red Colobus Monkey Carrier of Ebola

Eating healthily bush meat that eaten a dead infectious Columbus monkey spreads Ebola
Eating healthily bush meat that eaten a dead infectious Columbus monkey spreads Ebola | Source

Cause of Ebola Virus DIsease

The cause of the Ebola disease is the five outbreaks of the virus as noted above. You should avoid contact with infected animals, persons, and objects that are directly or secondarily contaminated or you will get infected.

Infected Apes are Carrier of Ebola Virus

This ape is healthily but is a potential carrier of Ebola Virus
This ape is healthily but is a potential carrier of Ebola Virus | Source

The Ebola River

Significance of a Ebola Outbreak

During an outbreak of the disease, doctors, nurses, and health workers are significantly at grave risk of contracting an infection. I observed from my study that these personnel were the first to contact the disease when affording treatment or help to the identified victims. Social workers, family members, and friends of the infected persons are also at risk of contracting Ebola. The community is not spared. This is how serious and significant the virus infection and outbreak is. According to the WHO, the Ebola outbreak is now:

  • 'an extraordinary event' and a 'public health risk to other states (or countries) in West Africa'.
  • It has 'the possible consequences of further international spread…in view of the virulence of the virus'.
  • 'a coordinated international response is deemed essential to stop and reserve the international spread of Ebola'.
  • It has no known cure, medication, and certified drugs.
  • Compare to other virus outbreaks like AIDS/HIV where victims can socialize with others, isolation of the victim is the only possible answer.

Statistics of Ebola Virus

  1. 950 persons died before the current West African outbreak in 2014.
  2. In Early August 2014, 46 persons were reported to have died, and 108 disease cases were reported.
  3. Over 1800 persons have died to date.
  4. Various isolated cases of individual deaths occurred in Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, and Liberia.
  5. 240 health workers affect by the Ebola virus and more than half have died.
  6. Those deaths include doctors, nurses, and hospital workers.

Ebola superspreader

Ebola virus
Ebola virus | Source

Transmission of Ebola virus

Contact with an infected animal, person, or object are identified as in all virus infection. It is the physical contact with an infected person or object that the virus spread. It is serious to note here that the breath of an infected person can contain fluid and thin mucous and this is an infection point.

The blood, saliva, urine, and sweat of a host have been noted as powerful transmitting agents. The semen of an infected person who has recovered can transmit the illness. Contact with all these will infect you. An inanimate object like your car on which an infected monkey salivated will infect you on contact with the saliva. Therefore, washing hands and sterilizing or completely discarding of tools used by infected persons or used to treat an infected person is okay.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that 'infection has been documented through the handling of infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelopes, and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest'. I am inclined to opine that those in the rainforest should include healthy animals considered as bush meats by the local people that fall within the category of ill animals and birds. 'Ebola then', continues the WHO, 'spreads in the community through human to human transmission with infection resulting from direct contact (through broken skin or mucous or other bodily fluids of infected people, and indirect contact with environments contaminated with such fluids'.

It is apparent to realize that some people usually crave unusual meals. Bush meats and games are believed to prolong life and give extra energy, endurance, and sexual exploits. There is no reality in these beliefs. Safe medication and health drugs are always available to resolve such matters. Certify herbal or homemade remedies are always available.

Apart from the time favour and domesticated animals and birds certify as fit for eating, some persons have inordinate appétite for eating cats, dogs, and snakes. I once read online that the blood of the poisonous cobra snake is a strong sexual stimulant! What kind of virus could the snake transmit if it were unhealthy?

It is even common for travelers in the countryside to refresh. This is where bushmeat or delicacies became available to them. Through the consumption of these items, healthy persons can get infected.

What is On Your Mind?

How often do you wash your hands after handling a virus infected object or touching a person with a cough?

See results

Recent Updates

As regards the sexual transmission of the disease, the WHO advice partners to take care to avoid further infection by:

  • By testing negative twice.
  • By abstaining from sex for up to 12 months.
  • Practice safe sex by using condoms well and correctly.
  • Good health, and hygiene by washing hands and body after sex with soap and water.

The Ebola crisis is endless. There is evidence that the disease is still spreading in the original outbreak country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC. Recent outbreaks were 'no social', or at the health centers. This means that preventive measures should be increased in these health centers to curb the Ebola virus disease. Greater funding is required for training and monitoring of health workers, and to do preventive community work.

Another Ebola Virus

Ebola still around
Ebola still around | Source

Prevention and Personal Protection

  1. Avoid contact with infected animals, birds, and objects.
  2. Avoid contact with infected persons including health personnel workers like doctors and nurses.
  3. Do not buy and eat thirsty delicious bush meats while traveling or not.
  4. Avoid contact with any strange domesticated monkeys or animal that is let loose.
  5. Report suspicious cases of diseases with signs of high fever, vomiting, and frequent stool to health authorities.
  6. Always wash hands with disinfectants, alcoholic liquid, soap, and water before and after handling meat, and after easing one’s self.

Ebola Virus Health Care Equipment

Pressure Isolation system where the Ebola patients received treatment
Pressure Isolation system where the Ebola patients received treatment | Source

Ebola virus isolation systems

Interior of isolation equipment
Interior of isolation equipment | Source

Relationship of HIV/AIDS with Ebola Virus Disease

Every person has at one time or another visited with an illness. How do you go through that terrible illness? Can you tell me what the pain is? Or there is no pain because it was a deformation? What is the relationship between the illness with your neighbor? Did they avoid you?

Some persons have committed suicide because of a certain illness. It brings shame, disgrace, and discrimination. An illness like Ebola virus fever has completely destroyed a family.

Persons with HIV/AIDS disease have hope. Is the recent Dr.Brantly and Nancy Writebol story a ray of hope? What is the relationship of HIV/AIDS with Ebolavirus? Below table contrast the two illnesses.

Ebola Virus and HIV/AIDS Contrast

Infected fruit bats, monkeys, gorillas and bush meals
Unprotected sexsual intercourse
Mode of transmission
Primarily infected fruit bats and none-human primates
unprotected sex, breast feeding and blood transmission
vaccine/drug/treatment availability
'unliscensed intervention'
RV144 or Tair trial
Alternative medicine
Garcinia kola extracts suggested
herbal remedies and food supplements approved by WHO
pandemic in the world
confirmed to West Africa
In the Democratic Republic of Congo
In the United States among Homosexual persons
Year of outbreak/detection
1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo
1980 in the United States

Ebolavirus And HIV/AIDS

Interior of Ebola Virus Negative Pressure Isolation System

Ebola virus isolation equipment
Ebola virus isolation equipment | Source

Another Interior View of Ebola Virus Negative Pressure Isolation System

Ebolavirus Isolation System
Ebolavirus Isolation System | Source

The World is Now Standing on Two Leg

The outbreak of any virus disease is not confirmed in any locality or country. It is now 'like a war some run away from it; others run into it'. And those who run away from it will later run into those who run into it! This is how many persons will be infected with the virus if care is not taken. It is not a case of a broken leg or arm. You can find a broken shoulder in all the communities of the world. But it cannot be imported or exported. A virus is an invisible agent. You can import them from the highest bidder. A virus can be harnessed into a biological weapon. It can be employed to destroy a whole community or country. This is the main reason why biological weapons of mass destruction are forbidden in conventional warfare.

A virus is even worsted than atomic or nuclear weapons. A leak in an atomic power plant can be contained easily up to a thousand miles. Emissions of radiation are easily controlled. Atomic weapons on an application can annihilate a country. Survivors could still exist with an adverse effect of bodily deformation. Such persons would still live for a decade or two. This can be inferred from the atomic destruction at Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan during the Second World War.

Can this be said of a virus outbreak like ebolavirus if it can not be contained and controlled? I here recalled some years ago an American physics student experimented with the virus anthrax bacillus. He tries or is about to hit a black community with it in a bomb form when he was arrested. What about those extremity or militant elements? Is the world still aware of biological gas use in Iraq by the late Saddam Hussein government to silence his enemies?

The World Health Organization has declared an emergency in the world. The import of this statement, when viewed in line with those made by epidemiologists some ten years ago, means that nothing has to be left to only one agency to run. The world is now standing on two feet!

Death Toll In Four West Africa Ebola Outbreak Countries

Deaths (new)
Sierra Leone

Ebola Death Toll West Africa

African Child Ebola

No drug or vaccine against Ebola Virus
No drug or vaccine against Ebola Virus | Source

Research into the Treatment of Ebola Virus

Many years ago, several drugs to battle the virus that shows some promise in animals were encouraged to be tested in humans. The results proved negative. For better reasons known to the scientific world, further research for a drug to control the virus was not looked into. However, earlier in August 2014, the Brantly and Writebol tests or 'supportive care' respond positively; and revisited the 2009 accidental syringe prick of a German Ebola researcher. This has now paved the way to look for a vaccine or drug to control Ebola viral

Ebola virus disease has not a vaccine yet. It has no drug. It has no known cure. Not even a claim to cure the disease has been established. Research into vaccines and drugs is yet to manifest a result. The WHO has said that ebolavirus disease is yet to receive a 'licensed specific treatment or vaccine'. But a recent claim was made by an American Ebola victim that he is being treated by a hospital in Atlanta. The 33-year-old medical doctor contacts the illness in Liberia, in an Ebola disease infect community while on missionary work.

It seems that due to the high fatality rate of the illness; and the uncertain nature and characteristics of the virus, research into specific antivirus to cure the disease has not yielded the desired result.

What is being done at present is drug management or 'supportive care'. This can be seen in the case of Dr. Kent and a certain Writebol who were being managed with experimental drugs.

Ebola Virus Large Scale Mobile Hospital

Mobile Pressure Isolation System for Managing Ebola Patients
Mobile Pressure Isolation System for Managing Ebola Patients | Source

Interior View Ebola Virus Large Scale Mobile Hospital


Experimental Drugs and Issues

Shortly after Dr. Kent's story, the WHO takes a serious response to the treatment. It queried the validity of the medicine and experiments that do not fall within medical ethics. Is the medicine safe? Has it been tested in the laboratory with non-humans and certified safe for human use? What are the quality and quantity of the dosage? Two questions in the mind of the WHO are:

  1. The ethnicity to use an 'unregistered intervention' or medicines; and
  2. The criteria to guide the use of medicine and the manner of priority in receiving the treatment of infected persons.

The import of all this is should an adverse or side effect occur, who should be responsible? Is it the patient, the doctor, the manufacturers or the hospital or clinic?

The 12-man member set up by the WHO has submitted a report to the effect that 'it is ethical to offer unproven intervention with as yet unknown efficacy and adverse effects, as potential treatment or prevention'. The good news is that the WHO has consented to this but 'ethical issues remain against using unproven experimental interventions'.

Alternative Medicine and Ebola Virus

Alternative medicine is getting popular nowadays. Where Western medicine has failed, alternative medicine has success. It is in view of this that a tropical nut, Garcinia kola or bitter kola is being suggested as an alternative research medication for the Ebola virus.

Surprisingly, the nut is found in the Ebola strike zone of Benin, Cameroun, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast (Burkina Faso), Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. It was noted in traditional medicine as a powerful ingredient in the treatment of all cold issues, coughs, colds, fever, and liver troubles. For example. In a research done in 1999 with Garcinia kola, it was discovered that an extract in the nut has the potency to retard the growth of the Ebola virus in rats.

Claim for a Cure

Claim for a cure by using Garcinia kola is being circulated especially in Nigeria. This was attributed to Professor Maurice Iwu. He was one of the researchers who identify the extract in the nut. Mr. Iwu has refuted the claim, but said that the nut has a compound 'that was able to arrest the replication of the Ebola virus.

The compound or extracts according to the professor also serves 'to strengthen the body system with natural immune boosters'. The claim of an Ebola virus cure was again refuted by the established authority in the health sector in Liberia. The rumor in Nigeria on the potency of the Garcinia kola to cure the Ebola virus hit Liberia in a negative way. The health authority has asked the public to report any administration of the vaccine, preventive or curative to the police authority.

Bitter kola has no cure for the Ebola virus fever. But it is hoped the extract should soon be applied to ebolavirus patient who is willing to face the risks.


West Africa is still in the hot spot of the Filovirus Haemorrhagic Fever (HF). What practical efforts made to contain and control the outbreak, infection, contamination, and spread are still in its infancy. A country alone is not capable of controlling an epidemic of the bacteria Ebola virus.

West Africa is in an emergency in this regard. However, one can appreciate the minimal drive being put in place like health infrastructures, health personnel, campaigns, logistics, etc by the WHO and the host countries.

International aid is already falling low due to out-stretched limitations. It is in the midst of this that another eruption of the virus from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is making the news.

WHO clearly observed that this later irruption in DRC is not associated with West Africa. The two virus species are distinctively different and trans-human contact is zero.

Bushmeat or game as some prefer to call it is eaten all over the world. It is part and parcel of cultural civilization. It evolved before the domestication of animals and birds, and it set the pace for domesticating animals. Nevertheless, the taste, preference, the nutritional content of a game speaks much In terms of health benefit if it falls within a legit beast.

Monkeys, gorillas, and non-human primates are now endangered and rare species in the animal kingdom. That fruit bats are associated with pig farms makes me think that bush meats could include bush pigs. A hog is not necessarily good food for human consumption. He carried a lot of diseases with him. The killing, preparation, and cooking of the meat is not well done at a suitable temperature where all germs in the meat are destroyed. This can account for some of the infections and deaths being recorded regardless of if a bat or monkey is eaten.

Bushmeat is still being consumed all over the world. The Africans are not the exception. As I said above, it evolved with the culture of a people. It was interwoven with the cultural heritage of a person, community, or an isolated ethnic group.

The index case of just one person causes the death of 13 persons in 24 cases so far and put 80 others on monitoring. What significance does this hold in predicting each recorded case?

The most important issue is the eating of games that cause illness. Are these people and others receiving enough education on food and health? Are many campaigns going on for this purpose?

Posters can Educate Peoples on Ebola

A child being taught to avoid Ebola disease via a poster
A child being taught to avoid Ebola disease via a poster


Get the latest news on Ebola at ABC news. Search Ebola virus disease.

2. Go to the WHO and refine the search on Ebola virus disease.

3. Read science magazine and search ebola.

4. Ebola disease symptoms.

5. Ebola virus disease Ebola fact sheets.

6. wiki Ebola virus Ebola diseases.

7. Health of Ebola virus.

8. Mystery content of science and Ebola virus.

9. Bitter kola and Ebola virus disease.

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2014 Miebakagh Fiberesima


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