Outbreak of Ebola

Arianna Howard, Staff Writer

In the past week alone, over 700 Ebola cases have erupted in West Africa. Ebola, a fatal and infectious disease, is sweeping Africa and even invading the United States. According to the United Nations Health Agency, over 5,300 have gotten the infection but not many of those cases have even been recorded. It has been concluded that about 500 people contract the disease per week. Three Americans have been infected so far, one being medical professional, Kent Brantley.

Brantley was recently infected with Ebola but overcame the horrible disease. He now hopes to return to West Africa and wishes other health professionals would lend their help in fighting Ebola.

Ebola starts out like flu, its symptoms showing up anywhere between two and twenty-one days. Symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • Stomach aches
  • Lack of appetite

The disease can also cause bleeding both internally and externally. It spreads through the body, damaging the immune system and organs, ultimately leading to severe and uncontrollable bleeding. However, Ebola is not as contagious as you would think. It is spread through bodily fluids or skin contact. It is often contracted by those who look after an infected person or bury someone who died from the infection.

To add onto the devastation, in Guinea, where Ebola was first found in March, eight bodies were found after an attack on an Ebola education team on September 18. Three of these victims were journalist, two medical officers, a preacher, as well as local executives. The team was trying to educate the village on the risks of Ebola but were attacked by a crowd throwing stones. The bodies were found in the latrines in Wome, a village in Southeast Guinea.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), 5,357 people in Guinea have been infection, some 2,630 killed. Guinea’s Prime Minister Mohamed Saïd Fofana has said “it was regrettable that the incident occurred as the international community was mobilizing to help countries struggling to contain the disease.”