It has been reported on August 19th, that 1200 people have succumbed and lost their lives in West Africa, including parts of Liberia, Guinea, Liberia and mainly Sierra Leone due to Ebola. A photographer named John Moore went to Monrovia to find out how bad this apparent outbreak really is. John Moore is a photojournalist from New York.
John Moore points out that this is not an air borne virus but one of bodily fluid exchange or transmission. He describes burial teams, workers wearing protective equipment or gear going around to homes collecting the infected or dead victims. Clinics and hospitals are closed due to infected workers and fear set by the public.
Doctors Without Borders has a new treatment place and John has gone out on a trip with them to photograph a village. Unicef is also in place going from residence to residence, urging ways how people can stay well. It’s all about education. Mr. Moore has a driver who has helped other journalist before him. There is another large individual accompanying them when they are out searching to ward off any threats.
Mr. Moore goes on to say that people here are not in a panic mode, which is what you would think they’d be. Numerous poor people mistrust their government and think it is all made up. This only makes the situation worse.
He did go out to a home after a woman was reportedly dead from Ebola. First she was tested and then they arrived after confirmation. With permission from the family he took pictures so it could be shown to the world what indeed is happening in West Africa. Apparently, some families went to get their family members out after receiving no treatment; they later died. Security forces came Wednesday and are keeping people from leaving or entering Monrovia, which is in Liberia.
Ebola is a very deadly disease. There is no treatment or cure and family members who care for the sick and then bury them when they die, can contract the virus by touching these tainted bodily fluids.
The World Health Organization has these guidelines about Ebola. The Ebola virus has a death rate close to 90%, humans and chimpanzees, gorillas and monkeys can be affected. The very first time it was reported was back in 1976 along the river Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo and an area in Sudan.
Fruit bats could be the host and contagion. Like HIV or AIDS, infection occurs from bodily fluid secretions such as stool, urine, saliva or semen but also linens or needles used on patients could contaminate others.
WHO suggests treatment of the infected should be in a hospital where trained personnel, doctors and nurses can properly care for this often fatal illness called Ebola.
Signs and symptoms of this severe illness are fever, weakness, sore throat, headache and even muscle pain. Then it progresses to diarrhea, rash, vomiting, and follows up by kidney and liver impairment. Bleeding on the inside and outside of the body can occur. Treatment of Ebola includes re-hydration and supportive care. Some recover and many do not; isolation is key. A vaccine is being developed for Ebola, which so far has killed over 1200 people in West Africa.
By Kim Troike
Google Images Credit