Deadly Ebola Outbreak

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Doctors treat a patient with the Ebola virus in West Africa. This disease is very contagious and has killed at least 80 people. Photo courtesy of zmescience.com

Doctors treat a patient with the Ebola virus in West Africa. This disease is very contagious and has killed at least 80 people. Photo courtesy of zmescience.com

West Africa has a recent outbreak of the Ebola virus. At least 80 people have died so far. Health officials are doing their best to try to contain the virus from spreading.

The virus was initially limited to a small region in Guinea, but several cases have been reported in the capital, Conakry. Conakry has a very large population with many who live in dirty slums, making it a high-risk place for spreading of the virus. Ben Neuman, a virologist at the University of Reading, speaking about the capital, told Daily Mail, “An Ebola outbreak there could lead to a humanitarian disaster”

USA Today reports, “The World Health Organization says that as many as 125 people across three countries are now believed to have contracted the highly contagious disease. Senegal shut its border with Guinea, where the outbreak is believed to have originated, in the hopes of keeping the disease from spreading its way.”

Ebola is a very deadly and highly contagious virus. There is no vaccine available to help prevent Ebola and no medication to treat it. Epidemiologist, Dr. Barbara Knust, told Fox News, “All of the Ebola viruses, we believe, have a wildlife reservoir. We think Ebola probably has a bat as a species that harbors virus and spills over into people and other animals. However, we’ve never been able to find which animal species is the animal that harbors the virus.” The virus is spread by contact with bodily fluids of both people alive and dead infected with Ebola. As many as 90 percent of people who contract Ebola will die.

Daily Mail says the symptoms start out with muscle pain, sore throats, headaches, and fevers and progress into diarrhea, vomiting, rashes, impaired kidney and liver function, and internal and external bleeding in some cases.

The best way to prevent infection is to practice good hygiene habits and steer clear of anyone suspected of the virus. The virus is mainly spreading because family members are attending to the sick not knowing the ill person has the virus.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sent a five- person team to Guinea to investigate the outbreak. Surrounding counties have taken necessary precautions to attempt to stop the spreading.

 

Shelby Patterson loves traveling, going on long drives, connecting with nature, rain and overcast days, peppermint tea, and breathing the fresh mountain air. Shelby is undecided on a major but is contemplating International Relations or Communications. She hopes to one day travel and be paid for it. After Snow College Shelby is planning on going to either Utah State University or University of Utah.

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