Ebola Outbreak

Brianna Gigliotti and Kailey Dempsey

Brief History of Current Outbreak

A two year old boy in Africa named Emile Ouamouno was the first patient with Ebola in 2014. Other cases started to arise in March, starting in Guinea. The virus then spread quickly to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. With such close communities and a lack of resources for treatment, Ebola started to spread rapidly throughout West Africa. The current Ebola outbreak is the largest, most complex outbreak with more cases and deaths than all other Ebola outbreaks combined.

Causes and Prevention

Causes:

Ebola is first transmitted from wild animals, such as fruit bats. It is then transmitted to humans through contact with animal blood, organs and other bodily fluids of infected animals. The virus then spreads through human-to-human contact of bodily fluids, and also contaminated surfaces and materials. If precautions are not taken, Ebola can be spread through close contact with a patient.


Prevention:

The main ways to prevent Ebola from spreading are reducing wildlife-to-human and human-to-human transmission risks, containing an outbreak, raising awareness, safe burials and making sure to keep yourself and surrounding area clean. It is important to make sure all meat is cooked thoroughly to prevent the virus to spread to humans. If the virus does spread to humans, it is necessary to isolate them in order to prevent the virus from spreading to others. People should always make sure to keep their hands and surrounding areas clean if they are at a risk of getting Ebola. Health care workers must take extra precautions with equipment so they are not exposed to the virus easily. It is also important for people to be aware of the causes and effects that Ebola can have. They must make sure to know the precautions they must take in order to avoid getting the virus.

Cases and Deaths in West Africa

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Latest News from West Africa

It was recently discovered that about 16,000 people have been diagnosed with Ebola since the first case, with a death toll of around 7,000. 200 to 300 people are dying every week from the virus. There is still a huge risk of the virus spreading to other countries that have not already been affected. Tony Branbury said that by December 1st “70% of all those infected by the disease must be under treatment and 70% of the victims safely buried if the outbreak is to be successfully arrested." With this being unlikely, people are becoming more worried about the Ebola virus spreading beyond control. Some methods that have seemed to be working for the time being are having treatment centers, community mobilization and safe burials in Africa.

News Bulletins from US Government about Ebola reentry

When Ebola came in to the United States, extra precautions had to be taken. It was required for health care workers to wear head-to-toe gear while working with Ebola patients. They also had specific rules about removing equipment, and washing and disinfecting hands. The CDC recommended that a "site manager" be present during this process. The Department of Homeland Security also made it a requirement for those that are coming from West Africa to the United States must take a health screening. Airports started to create questionnaires in order to make sure that those feeling ill did not have Ebola and bring it to the United States.

Video

In this video from BBC, the Ebola virus is explained.

American Hospital Procedures for Potential Ebola Victims

Since there are no known medications or vaccinations that can treat Ebola, symptoms are treated as they appear in Ebola patients. American hospitals isolate the Ebola patients so they cannot spread the virus. They are kept in certain areas, and are treated by doctors in protective gear. The three main treatments they will do at American hospitals that will increase chance of survival are providing an IV and balancing electrolytes, maintaining oxygen and blood pressure and treating other infections if they happen to occur. These are the only treatments that can be taken to help the patient since there is no medication specifically for Ebola. Some symptoms of the virus can be treated, however.

Primary Source

An Ebola survivor, Dr. Ada Igonoh, has shared her story with Huffington Post about the experience she had with the virus. She contracted it in Nigeria after treating an American named Patrick Sawyer who had died from Ebola. She told host Alyona Minkovski that "at the time when I contracted the virus, it must have been when I touched [Sawyer's] intravenous fluid bag, one of the nights I was attending him."


Igonoh was sent to an Emergency Operation Center's isolation area to be treated after she was diagnosed with Ebola. Since she had infections, she was treated with antibiotics and started to feel better. She described "the symptoms, mainly fever, diarrhea and vomiting with associated joint aches and pains, actually started to resolve at that time. She was declared virus free 14 days later with antibiotics and rehydration salts.

Questionnaire

These are some questions that may be asked at a health screening at an airport for potential victims of Ebola.


1. Have you travelled to any countries in West Africa in the last 30 days?

2. Have you come in contact with anyone who has Ebola or was severely ill?

3. Have you been experiencing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or cough?

4. Have you had a fever at any time in the past 48 hours?

5. Have you been to a funeral recently or come in to contact with dead bodies?