HealthIssue: Ebola Virus
ArticleSummary: Why Ebola is so Dangerous
WorldHealth Organization declared Ebola as a global health emergence owingto the number of fatalities in West Africa within a span of 60 days,the virulence of the virus and poor state of the health facilities inthe worst affected areas. Ebola has wrecked havoc in Guinea, SierraLeone and Liberia causing more than 4500 civilian deaths (BritishBroadcasting Corporation, 2014). Ebola is a deadly viral diseasewhose initial symptoms include muscle pain, sudden fever, sore throatand intense weakness. This slowly graduate to diarrhea, vomiting andin some instances external and internal bleeding. The most startlingthing about Ebola is that it originates from wild animals such asbats, antelopes and chimpanzees, and infects human who come in closecontact with them (British Broadcasting Corporation, 2014). Once inthe human body the virus multiplies significantly and spreadsdirectly to another human who come in contact with body fluids,infected blood, organs, and indirectly through contact with infectedenvironment.
Complexityof Ebola Epidemic
Theepidemic is a major health concern because of the challenges involvedin controlling its spread to other parts of the world and to curb itin West Africa. In addition, Ebola has affected health workersdelivering services to victims. In the same vein, in areas where ithas struck hardest traditional beliefs and norms have underminedpreventive measures put in place by experts and healthcare personnelto control the spread of the virus. At the moment Ebola is killingabout 70 percent of those that contract the disease and it is fearedthat if the scourge is not arrested, WHO estimates that at least10,000 new cases shall be reported every week (British BroadcastingCorporation, 2014). Transmission occurs from one individual toanother, within communities and even within health facilities.Intervention therefore is geared towards theprovision of the important information to aid people protectthemselves as well as prevent transmission.
TheEbola virus is highly infectious and it is a threat to any nation onthe planet. Currently, the world is a globalvillage, thus all countries are interconnected by the globaleconomy. For example, Nigeria has been affected because of a case ofa civilian travelling back from an Ebola ravaged Liberia. Thisdepicts the gravity of the risk that Ebola poses to all states,developed and developing (British Broadcasting Corporation, 2014).
Thereare various national and international agencies involved with theformulating measures to mitigate the spread and the wrath of theEbola epidemic. These include, World Health Organization, which is anagency of the United Nations, European Centre for Disease Preventionand Control and European Commission among others. Theseagencies are performing their duties together in order to addresssituationand contain the virus (British Broadcasting Corporation, 2014). Thefollowing interventions have been devised to contain Ebola andprevent its spread:
All countries have been requested to provide all travelers to affected regions and at-risk regions with pertinent information on threats, measures to lower the risk and advice on managing a potential contact.
Governments asked to be ready to evacuate health workers exposed to Ebola
In the United States the experimental drug against Ebola, ZMapp has been used to manage the Ebola virus in health workers who contracted the virus while working in West Africa. Nonetheless, the drug is still in experimental stage and is not yet available for the public to purchase. Also, there is no large scale production of the drug.
States have been encouraged to investigate, detect and manage Ebola cases. This entails access to a diagnostic laboratory.
Contact tracing in order to identify the cause of the disease and prevent further spread.
Training health professionals on infection control measures and provide protective tools and gears to avoid infection while delivering services.
Tostop the spread of this epidemic to other regions, it is importantthat governments impose travel restriction to areas, especially WestAfrica that are affected by the scourge. In theregion of West Africa, it is also paramount that countriestemporarily close their borders to hamper movement in and out ofaffected areas. In addition, quarantines can lower the spread ofEbola within affected communities in West Africa. Quarantine canprevent transmission by isolating the sick to protect the healthy. Itis also much easier to give healthcare services to affectedindividuals by observing health reaction from various interventionsapplied in different parts.
Globalcitizens should avoid nonessential travels to affected areas, andthorough screening of travelers, including temperature check atairports and border closing should be conducted. The InternationalHealth Regulations has also accorded government authority to put inplace measures that is viewed as appropriate to prevent spread ofEbola and protect populations. It is paramount that all people arewell informed of the existence of the epidemics and educated on waysof protecting themselves and preventing spread where there areinfected people.
BritishBroadcasting Corporation (2014). WhyEbola is so dangerous.Retrieved on18, October fromhttp://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-26835233