In March 2014, West Africa suffered for a first time from the most deadly epidemic disease called Ebola since it was discovered in 1976. Ebola is a viral disease caused by virus called Ebola which is named after the Ebola River in Zaire. “Ebola virus, having five known subtypes, is part of the family of filoviruses and causes the infectious disease Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Tekman)”. According to WHO, a total of 9216 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported in seven affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, and the United States Of America up to 14 October, 2014). Therefore, stopping the disease from spreading further is vitally important.
At this moment, the virus is not readily transmissible through air, but a large outbreak gives it more chances to evolve to spread more easily between humans. In fact, Ebola is a serious international health issue waiting for immediate and careful action to prevent further infection and other possible threat such as bio terrorism. Firstly, the infection can be identified with symptoms that are uncommon for the flu, including malaise, fever, and muscles pain.
With the progress of infection, patients experience acute bleeding and coagulation abnormalities such as a rash and gastrointestinal bleeding. In Western Africa funeral is the major source of transmission of this disease since majority of Islam practice the burial of a body. Experimental vaccines and treatment of Ebola are being tested on animals now, therefore danger comes from the fact that if it got widespread it would definitely cost a lot to stop it. Although person recovered from Ebola cannot transmit virus to others directly but it stays in semen for longer duration so there is possibility of transmission through sexual intercourse.
Symptoms usually includes high fever, joints and muscles pain, stomach pain, sore throat, weakness. According to WHO, as disease gets worse it causes bleeding inside the body, as well as from the eyes, ears, and nose. Some people will vomit or cough up blood, have bloody diarrhea, and get a rash. In fact, early detection of symptom and isolation of patient is best possible way to prevent further death and widespread infection. The often fatal Ebola disease has no medical vaccine to cure the disease.
In a world knit together by planes, ships and cargo ships, failure to control Ebola in West Africa means more cases in other countries including America. Furthermore, if Ebola virus spreads to other poor countries how do those country can hope to deal with that condition? Ebola is now much more challenging problem. Scientists have confirmed that recent Ebola outbreak is possibly due to consumption of bush meat like monkeys and fruits bats since human share 99% of DNA with monkeys and other apes. “Ebola transmits through direct contact, blood or body fluids, objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus, infected animals (WHO)”.
Ebola can easily transmit within hospital and clinics where hospital staffs aren’t covering their body parts with protective wear, gloves, mask and eye protection. As travelling is rapid in today’s world Ebola virus can definitely travel from one country to another. “One travel-associated case was diagnosed in the United States on September 30, 2014. On October 12, 2014, a healthcare worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the index patient has tested positive for Ebola (CDC)”. Airport authorities are strictly carrying out medical screening to detect Ebola virus in infected passengers; despite this, Ebola is taking different unknown routes to cross the border of new country.
As fear of spreading is getting higher international community is steeping up to provide medical help and other assistance to combat this disease. As disease is growing exponentially in West Africa 1 / 2 dozens of countries are providing lifesaving contribution. In spite of, increasing risk of infection to medical doctors and nurses they are proving great service to people in order to combat this disease.
For example, “United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon applauded World Bank for approving $400 million in grants and loans for the affected countries as well as the medical and support personnel working on the ground to save lives (UN news Centre)”. Since African nations lack trained medical personal, they need help from US and other European countries. What is US doing to help Ebola? According to U. S Department of Defense,” 4000 men and women in uniform are deployed to Monrovia, Liberia, as part of Operation United Assistance (DOD)”. Furthermore other countries and agencies are also supporting African nation by giving cash, medical team and other health care equipment.
Ebola also seems as a bioterrorism. Since Ebola occurred from African country and like previously many other virus originated from Africa it seems likely that someone is recruiting experts to prepare virus as a bio weapon. Another possible danger of this virus is that terrorist can access the virus and use it as a bio weapon which will definitely pose serious threat to the global security. As developed countries are fighting against terrorism and no vaccine is invented against Ebola till today global security is at serious risk and this disease might take a different road in future.
“Ebola’s epidemiological makeup creates circumstances in which it could spread quickly to all parts of the globe (Teckman)”. Due to its potential to cause morbidity and mortality across the globe, the threat of an Ebola bio-attack should not be ignored. In conclusion, several steps like controlling the disease, political will, increased surveillance, invention of Ebola vaccine, collaboration and sharing information with African nation is required to halt the further risks and deter an offensive outbreak of Ebola in other regions of the world. It would be more difficult if Ebola outbreaks to other underdeveloped countries.
Thus, to mitigate its risk of possible outbreak in more countries, this disease should be cured while it is in Africa. Public health organizations, non-government organizations, national health agencies should encourage and facilitate training in infectious diseases. Early development of vaccine can help to stop further outbreak of Ebola. Since the global security and healthcare system is in risk of Ebola, all possible measure should be taken immediately to limit Ebola for further infection and minimize the pain of African people.
Works Cited: Amanda M. Teckman. “The Bioterrorist Threat of Ebola in East Africa and Implications for Global Health and Security”. Global Policy Essay (May2013). Web. 21 Oct. 2014. World Health Organization. “WHO: Ebola Response Roadmap Update” 17 October 2014. Web. 21 Oct. 2014. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease)”. Oct 2014. Web 21 Oct. 2014. UN News Centre. ” Ban Urges International Community to Escalate Ebola Response Amid Worsening Outbreak”. 2014. Web. 21 Oct 2014. U. S Department of Defense (DOD). “DOD helps fight Ebola in West Africa Operation in United Assistance”. 2014. Web . Oct 21, 2014. . 4. POWERED BY TCPDF (WWW. TCPDF. ORG).