Tag Archives: Doctors Without Borders

Ebola Spread Fires Need For International Intervention

3 Sep

Ebola Virus Fires Need For International InterventionPlaces like airports have now become screening areas for the deadly virus called Ebola. These places are called temperature checks where a infrared gun is used to calculate if you are allowed to leave the country. This sounds like a movie from ten years ago. However, this is the current Ebola spread in West Africa, which is firing a need for international intervention.

West Africa is the source of this apparent Ebola epidemic. What is an epidemic? An epidemic is a disease that goes beyond the community and shows up in other places. SARS, sudden acute respiratory syndrome killed 800 people in 2003. A pandemic is much more severe, think HIV/AIDS or the Spanish Influenza which globally killed 40-50 million. The CDC and World Health Organizations will be extremely busy in attempts to contain and control further spread of a potentially fatal virus.

Ebola VirusThe countries affected are Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, along with a smaller outbreak and different strain in the Congo. South Africa has closed their borders to citizens from known Ebola outbreaks. Even airlines are not going into these places. Three airlines; Air France, Brussels Air and British Airways halted trips to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Though fever is an early sign, it can take up to three weeks for symptoms to become apparent with one week or so being average. The temperature, a simple little vital sign, usually taken with a blood pressure and pulse by a nurse is now an important factor for travel in addition to questions about flu-like symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, pain or malaise.

Doctors Without Borders and The United Nations are taking steps and making an appeal for international intervention to address West Africa’s Ebola outbreak. The secretary general of the UN, Jan Eliasson, informed her colleagues that this is “a test to international solidarity.”

Ebola Virus in West AfricaFifteen hundred deaths and more than 3,500 cases in West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone confirm this epidemic. The Democratic Republic of Congo has 53 cases alone.

Dr. Margaret Chan, The World Health Organization head believes it will get worse and that it has been underestimated. The virus was first detected back in 1976. Dr. Joanne Liu, the president of Doctors Without Borders told The United Nations we need to set up mobile laboratories and hospitals for treatment.

The CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden, warns of the Ebola epidemicĀ  worsening. Another American doctor caring for pregnant women and their deliveries has contracted Ebola in Monrovia. He isolated himself and is recovering.

Mobile clinics and Hospitals NeededTwenty five million dollars has been awarded in a contract form for Mapp Bio-pharmaceutical Inc.; The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services want the experimental Ebola drug availability expedited.

Recently, the experimental drug was given to two American patients which were treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Both patients were isolated, given the drug and cared for by intensively trained personnel. Both have recovered and gone home to their respective families. One of the patients has described the virus and accompanying symptoms as though he might die.

Opinion by Kim Troike

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Ebola

20 Aug

Ebola Virus in West Africa

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.

Ebola Virus in West Africa

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.

Ebola Virus in West AfricaFruit 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 isĀ  being developed for Ebola, which so far has killed over 1200 people in West Africa.

By Kim Troike

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