The Ebola virus disease (EVD) was diagnosed for the very first time in 1976, in two places simultaneously- Nzara, Sudan, and Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. Since then, the recent 2014 West Africa outbreak of the fatal disease is the most complex that the world of medical science has ever seen. It is also the largest outbreak in terms of area, spreading across Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal. An unrelated outbreak was also reported in Boende, Equateur.
Ebola belongs to the virus family Filoviridae, which is divided into 5 species. The outbreak in West Africa (2014) is from the Zaire species.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States of America identified the first confirmed case of the Ebola virus on the 30th of September 2014. This frightening news spread an even more urgent alarm across the country and the world about the seriousness of this disease. To stop this fatal virus from spreading, countries all across the world are taking stringent measures.
The very first step that is being taken by countries, to prevent the outbreak and rapid spreading of Ebola is educating the masses. It is essential for people to know how the infection transmits from animals to humans and human to humans, its symptoms, and treatment along with prevention measures. The United States is spreading awareness directly through social media and indirectly through the television and radio. 371,000 Americans follow the CDC on Twitter and get fast updates on the virus.
Monitoring Ebola Spread
The next step implemented is, in case a person is identified with the virus, quick actions are taken to stop the spread. The public health reporting system has become more alert and carefully monitors Ebola cases. For example the Dallas Ebola case was quickly reported and immediate steps were taken by the CDC to avoid further spread and complications.
The most important step that the countries are trying to implement is equipping all hospitals effectively so that they can treat the Ebola Virus. Measures are being taken to ensure that all hospitals can offer proper care and effectively quarantine patients. Hospitals are being provided with protective gear for health workers. Even space suits like PPE’s are being used for protection when doctors are dealing with Ebola patients. A careful tab is being kept on needles, gloves and other medical equipment that is being used to treat Ebola and proper disposal is ensured. A safe operational environment is necessary for doctors and nurses to treat patients without the fear of catching the virus.
The 2014 outbreak has infected 8000 people and killed more than 4000. The numbers are still rising and it is important that speedy solutions and measures are taken to prevent the Ebola virus from becoming a pandemic disease.