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Essay on Ebola Outbreak


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The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is out of control, said the statement by the international non-governmental organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) of 23 June. The local Governments and non-profit organizations have to put urgent concerted large-scale efforts in order to stop the spread of the infection, as the MSF’s resources are exhausted, the statement said.

Outbreak of the disease, accompanied by fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and internal bleeding, began in January in a remote southeastern region of Guinea. Since then, in addition to Guinea, the epidemic also affected Liberia and Sierra Leone.

According to MSF, the outbreaks were registered in more than sixty remote localities in the three countries, which complicates treatment and containment of the epidemic.

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According to the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) on 17 June, since February in West Africa, there were 528 cases of Ebola, killing 337 people. This is the most deadly outbreak of the infection from 1976, when the Ebola virus was first discovered in Central Africa, in Sudan, and adjacent areas of Zaire.

Since this is the first outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa, the MSF statement said, the local population is afraid of getting sick, suspicious of doctors, and medical facilities. Another factor impeding the fight against the spread of the infection is the massive non-compliance of population with sanitary-epidemiological measures. For example, relatives continue to arrange the funeral of dead from Ebola, involving a large number of people.

The MSF is currently the only international charity organization working in the region and, as is indicated in the statement, already unable to cope with all the new cases of the disease. “We have exhausted our resources, the statement quoted the words of the MSF chief operating officer Bart Janssens, since all of our human resources and equipment are concentrated in the three countries affected by the virus, in the case of the infection in other regions, that is very likely soon, since the epidemic is already out of control, we will not be able to deploy our forces”.

“The problem does not only affect Guinea and two adjacent countries. It is a problem all over West Africa, said Janssens.

WHO and the Governments of all countries of the region must pool resources to fight the epidemic, primarily to train medical staff and work with the population.”

The Ebola virus belongs to a filovirus family (Filoviridae). The disease causes one of the most dangerous haemorrhagic fevers. Infection occurs when close contact. Regular outbreaks of Ebola is not unusual for the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Five known species of Ebola virus are Bundibugyo, Côte d’Ivoire, Reston, Sudan, and Zaire. Previously, experts from the Pasteur Institute in Paris identified the type of virus that caused the epidemic in Guinea, as the strain of Zaire, which has the highest mortality of all, reaching as much as 90 percent. At present, there is no specific treatment or vaccine against Ebola.

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