Ebola Outbreak Rages in Africa, Dies Down in U.S.

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Photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

Photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

The worst outbreak in history of Ebola virus disease continues to ravage the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Two cases have been identified in the U.S., but the disease is under control for now.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) diagnosed the first laboratory-confirmed case of Ebola virus disease in the U.S. on September 30, 2014.
According to the CDC, Thomas Duncan boarded a plane in West Africa, showing no symptoms of Ebola.  Approximately four days after he arrived in Dallas, Texas, he began showing symptoms of the disease.
Duncan was hospitalized and tested positive for Ebola, after which he was isolated. He died on October 8. Two days later, a healthcare worker who had been caring for Duncan reported a fever and was tested for Ebola. The CDC confirms the test results, which were positive. The worker remains in isolation after the initial report of a fever.
The names of 48 people in closest contact with Duncan while he was infected have now been removed from a monitoring list and sent back to work and school. Officials say that there is “zero risk” that these people could have Ebola.
A person with Ebola is not contagious until they express symptoms of the disease, so it is impossible that Duncan infected anyone on the plane from West Africa.
Students have been sent home from school, and some schools even closed, for fear that some students might have been in indirect contact with a patient. According to NBC, experts say that these students have zero chance of having Ebola.
According to the CDC and various other health organizations, Ebola seems to be under control in the U.S. for now; however, the chances of another infected person entering the U.S. are high. Healthcare officials urge Americans to remain vigilant.
The largest Ebola epidemic on record still rages in West Africa. There have been 9,216 suspected cases and 4,555 deaths reported in the countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The World Health Organization (WHO) believes this is an underestimate.
Healthcare in the affected countries is too insufficient to effectively treat such a massive outbreak. The chief of the WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan, said, “Countries affected to date simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity on their own,” according to CBS News. Chan urged the international community to give aid to these struggling countries as promptly as possible.

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