Thursday, December 11, 2014

The current status of Ebola

Even after nine long months into the largest Ebola epidemic in the history of mankind the condition did not get better in any way. Moreover, with every passing day the state of Ebola epidemic is getting worse. From December 2013, the outbreak started spreading gradually in West Africa. International authorities acknowledged the first case in March and all through June and July it has grown in stature. The epidemic is now spreading in awfully rapid rate, resulting in the use of terminologies like “exponential spread”. Even in the last week there were 700 new cases of Ebola has been accounted and in approximately in every three weeks the number of cases is getting doubled, clearly stating the gravity of the situation.
As of now there are there are over 5500 Ebola cases that has been documented resulting in around 3000 deaths. These statistics have already overcome all the previous history of Ebola epidemics. Moreover, these numbers only constitute the reported cases. This is where we stand with Ebola at this moment.

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The situation in Ebola hit regions are in every aspect of a dejected state and cannot be denied at any account. The shocking truth is that even the international experienced disaster management team members are getting the shock of their life after witnessing the devastating condition at the Ebola hit regions. This clearly implies the fact that the scenario is really bad and is beyond imagination.
Due to severe shortage of health care facilities often Ebola infected people could not be treated by the health workers. This leads to the situation where the family members have to take on nursing the ill persons belonging to the family, causing further distribution of the disease in the family and eventual annihilation of the whole family. Patients are dying at the gates of the health homes as even after trying hard, there are not sufficient beds to accommodate all the patients.
Even the health care workers appointed to treat and nurse the Ebola patients are dying due to the lack of even the basic protective gears required to wear before handling such cases. Sometimes, they are also dying because they are making terminal errors while treating the patients as they are too engrossed and touched by the circumstances. In Liberia the workers had gone on strike as they are not getting any payment for their extremely risky job that also without any protective measures. Hearses and even motorcycles are used as ambulance to carry patients from distant places, thus exposing the driver clearly at the risk of becoming the next patient.

The situation at hand

The current status of Ebola
Unlike previous epidemics researchers now got the capability to understand and learn the evolutionary pattern of the Ebola virus in a far better way.
Lack of information or misinformation along with fear is also of great concern and can be as fatal as the virus itself. Misconception and fear resulted in the killing of eight Ebola workers from the area of Guinea where the first outbreak of Ebola started back in March. Sadly, a featured story was also published in Liberia’s largest newspaper stating that Ebola is a man made virus which was spread purposely in Africa by the pharmaceutical companies from the western world. There are frequent incidents of health workers and doctors being repelled and attacked by families due to fear alone. The situation is further aggravated as a second outbreak took place in Nigeria as the quarantine was broken by an infected diplomat who fled Port Harcourt from Liberia.
As of now the rest of the countries from West Africa are not affected except Senegal where one imported case was registered in August. But no other cases have been identified so far. Ivory Coast is working hard to keep their country virus free and is keeping a close eye. The strongest steps have been taken by Sierra Leone, where they observed a lock down for three days to stress any possible case of Ebola infection to diminish any chance of contamination.  The six million inhabitants of Sierra Leone were instructed to remain at home so that volunteers can go and educate them about the virus and the disease as well as recognizing any possible case and subsequent quarantine of the body.

The response against the disease

Till now most of the responses against Ebola in West Africa have been initiated by nongovernment organizations. The international battle to combat Ebola is led by the Doctors Without Borders, but unlike in other previous scenarios they are totally outdone and overwhelmed by the extent of casualties and devastation of Ebola resulting their continuous appeal to the United Nations for further support. 
Till date more than 420 tonnes of supplies has been delivered to the affected countries along with around 2000 ground staffs working relentlessly. In several Ebola health care centers around 530 beds have been managed by MSF. But, still this seems meager in context of the magnitude of the outbreak. Still the majority of the support is provided by a single NGO giving support of isolation units and beds.
The appeal for adequate support has been responded with sympathy, but still the responses are quite inadequate and not prompt enough to deal with the current situation. USA has risen to the occasion in a way and promised around $750 million aid along with 3,000 military staffs. But, as stated above, this huge amount of support is too little as the World Health Organization has already estimated the need for support to be $1 billion to keep the infection confined within tens of thousands.


  1. This is a major epidemic presently restricted to Africa but unless controlled immediately and urgently runs the risk of spreading to all continents with catastrophic consequences ! Has the potential to decimate millions in a short period. Countries should set aside political differences and should collectively cooperate and collaborate to exterminate this dangerous virus !

    1. Yes indeed..... Thank you for a thoughtful comment......


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