A nightmare scenario is erupting in West Africa as numbers of those infected with the deadly Ebola virus continues to balloon.
A recent report is citing that cases of Ebola are beginning to spike, as we near the end of the first quarter of 2015.
Ebola in 2014
According to reports, many individuals in Africa rapidly contracted the fatal disease known to cause severe symptoms of fever, bleeding, diarrhea and vomiting. Other symptoms include jaundice, loss of mental clarity and a skin rash around the fifth day of viral incubation in the body.
Officials with the World Health Organization (WHO) say that more than 888 cases of Ebola were reported between the months of February and July of 2014. This includes a total of 539 instances of death. It is recognized as the world’s most lethal virus, assessed to kill 90-percent of those it contacts.
First signs of the disease were noted to have been detected during the mid-1970s in Zaire. Currently it has spread across many countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo.
News sources claim that individuals in areas of Africa where the disease is raging, such as Liberia and the Sierra Leone, are refusing to enter regional hospitals for treatment. Many have vocalized concerns that once they are admitted, they are fated to die.
“What we are now seeing are villages closing themselves off, not allowing us to enter, sick people hidden in the community,” Marc Poncin, an emergency official for the medical organization Medicins Sans Frontieres, told Reuters news sources. “They don’t come and seek healthcare anymore…. We are seeing a lot of mistrust, intimidation and hostility from part of the population,” he said.
“People see people arrive more or less OK and then they die there. So they start to mistrust the treatment center,” says Poncin.
Preventative Measures for Ebola
Reports of hospital beds are surfacing in response to growing numbers of those expected to be and/or become ill.
Officials involved with the worldwide initiative UNICEF stated a need to control numbers of the outbreak by encouraging faith and trust among African citizens.
The organization WHO has set forth a list of guidelines in hopes of helping individuals working in health care and those exposed to the deadly pathogen. On May 5, 2014, they launched SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands in efforts to protect others from contracting life-threatening illnesses.
According to WHO’s web site, “hand hygiene is a simple thing and it’s the best way to prevent infection and illness.”
Many dangerous illnesses are reportedly becoming resistant to forms of antibiotics. WHO statistics estimate that more than 2 million people each year are diagnosed with a form of infection or illness that is resistant to antibiotics; as a result, an estimated 23,000 people die each year.
In treating areas that are believed to be contaminated by the Ebola virus, such as airplanes or health care areas, WHO recommends using gloves to discard of any soiled materials, afterword thoroughly washing hands with soap and water. The site advises using alcohol-based sanitizers only if water is not available, as they can also promote pathogen resistance.