"Rapid epidemic transmission has been with us a long time, but my guess is that it’s accelerating, with the number of people on the move and intensity of air travel, global trade and the numbers of displaced people we have globally,” said Jeffrey D. Sachs, an economist and the director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
The Ebola-Virus Disease has existed since 1976 but its recent outbreak in West Africa, has had the entire nation in consternation. From 1976 to 2013, fewer than 1,000 people per year have been infected. The largest outbreak to date is the ongoing West Africa Ebola outbreak, which is affecting Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria. The Ebola Virus Disease is at the moment Africa’ leading fatal virus, killing thousands of people without any hope of treatment or cure. It now threatens the lives of over 20 million people in metro areas and possibly the whole of Africa if no cure or containment of the virus is found.
The spread of this epidemic has alerted nations to take special precautions of preventing the contraction of this deadly virus.
An infection of EVD requires direct contact with the blood, secretions and organs of an infected person. Such contractions are similar to that of HIV/AIDS. Even though the contractions may be similar, it is not comparable because Ebola has no means of treatment.
According to the World Health Organisation, EVD outbreaks occurs primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests transmitting to people from wild animals, thereafter spreading to the human population through human-human transmission. It originates from a fruit bat of the Pteropodidae family being the natural host.
“The incubation period after contracting this virus is 2-21 days and the early symptoms include fever, malaise, myalgia, diarhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain as usual, followed by progressive multi-system disease with bleeding as a cardinal feature in the majority of patients,” reported DR. T Makhuba.
The EVD outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90% and could take up days, weeks or months to reach the extent of it severity-killing one instantaneously. Scientists are still figuring out exactly how this happens, and they have several promising leads. One is that the virus is making proteins that act as decoys, interfering with the body's ability to fight back.
People travelling to Africa are at higher rate of contracting the deadly disease. Even though people are being tested on planes to ensure that no one is infected, there is no guarantee of contamination. There has been experimental drugs that have been used in no vain. The seriousness of this deadly virus is appalling. It has claimed more than a thousand lives. There is no telling if there ever will be a cure for this virus.
Internal bleeding is one of the major symptoms of Ebola
In South Africa, the health minister has reassured the nation that the health ministry is keeping a close eye on all those coming into the country, especially from the West Africa region and whether they are at risk of having Ebola. So far two patients thought to have Ebola symptoms have been tested in Johannesburg and they both turned out to be negative
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