The World Health Organization has affirmed that it will be launching a $100 million response plan for the West African region. The plan calls for more clinical doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, and logisticians, in order to help ease the strain for the treatment facilities.
Government officials have now stepped up action toward combating what is being referred to as the world’s largest outbreak of Ebola virus. Ebola currently has no vaccine and no specific treatment, however intramuscular injections of BCX4430 could inhibit virus reproduction in human cells, and though other treatments being developed may give us hope, they have not yet been tested or implemented.
This strain of Ebola also comes with a fatality rate of roughly 60%. The virus spreads through direct contact with the blood, secretions, or other bodily fluids, and indirect contact which may come from contaminated needles or other sources, such as sharing water. Despite the claims of some on the internet, there is no evidence that this strain can be spread through the air.
Ernest Bai Koroma, the president of Sierra Leone, deployed the army to quarantine epicentres of the disease and has also banned public meetings for at least 60 days, except for those dedicated to education about the virus. The Liberian government has also decided to close schools and put government employees on leave. Most border crossings have also been closed.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia has called for the closure of markets in an area near the borders of two other infected countries, Guinea and Sierra Leone. “My fellow Liberians, Ebola is real, Ebola is contagious and Ebola kills,” she warned. “Denying that the disease exists is not doing your part, so keep yourselves and your loved ones safe.”
“The scale of the Ebola outbreak, and the persistent threat it poses, requires WHO and Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to take the response to a new level and this will require increased resources, in-country medical expertise, regional preparedness and coordination,” said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan
Air traffic to the area has already been suspended by several airlines. The US Peace Corps have also evacuated hundreds from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. It’s also believed that it has now spread to Nigeria.
The United Nations public health agency has said that the escalating outbreak still requires “several hundred more personnel to be deployed in affected countries to supplement overstretched treatment facilities.” The United States government has also encouraged its citizens to steer clear of the three African countries suffering from the outbreak.
Six out of ten people who come into contact with the disease are likely to die from it. Fever-like symptoms are to be expected if you are infected with the virus, like muscle pain, sore throat, vomiting, and diarrhea. Those who become infected can even experience bleeding from the eyes at later stages. The incubation period for the virus is from 2 to 21 days, the infectious stage begins once people start to show signs of these symptoms. Serious steps are being taken at borders and airports in order to keep the virus from spreading.