Sample Article Review on The Ebola Epidemic in West Africa

The Ebola epidemic was first seen in Zaire in 1976, and the disease was named after a local river in the Yambuku area. The recent Ebola outbreak in Africa has been termed as the worst, claiming a lot of lives and creating tension worldwide. The situation is however different this time round, with effective use of cure for the virus. The disease spreads very fats, and especially amongst the healthcare workers who are handling the patients. This is mainly because it is easily spread through contact with infected people. The disease incubation period is a few hours, and the spread can thus double in days. The 2014 Ebola spread in Liberia and Sera Leone has left many people homeless as a large number flew to areas which were not infected.

The Ebola response time should be fast, to curb its spread and treat the already affected. This time round, the response time was rather slow and this left very many people dead. This is because it was the first time for the disease to spread in the two countries, and many people were not aware of what they were handling. The health practitioners had not been trained to handle Ebola cases and the country did not have the required equipment. As a result, the disease spread very fast and other countries had to intervene to help in curbing its spread. The areas with higher disease spread are well urbanized, and this facilitated easy spreading. For instance, the infected people in the villages made use of shuttle services to the town areas and back. In the course of their journey, they got infected and spread the disease to the entire village.

Within a short period of time, the Ebola virus found its way to the slum areas and infected hundreds of people who live in shunts which are closely located. Africa does not have the technology and laboratories to diagnose all the illnesses and determine any Ebola related cases. Most of the patients were treated at late stage and the virus had already claimed a large portion of their bodies. They were thus left in quarantine areas to curb the spread. It is actually surprising how the close family members and friends went rioting in some parts demanding that the sick family member should be let free (Hewlett & Hewlett, 2007). This is an indication that they were not well educated on the ways of curbing the disease and importance of isolated those who were already infected.

The developed nations have however intervened and many people have been treated and are free to interact with the others. The main problem however is getting the politics behind getting the treatment in the quarantine camps (Preston, 1995). Many health practitioners are actually worried that their lives might be at danger. They claim that there is still a small chance of getting infected with the disease when handling the sick people, even when they have the right preventive measures. Moreover, the people infected are many and the available doses are few. In many cases, the disease should have been prevented but the practitioners are contributing to this. Again, the local people are not following closely the preventive measures that have been laid out by the world health organization.

The only way to ensure safety in the world is to deal with the Ebola issue in West Africa first. Screening passengers in the airports might work for some time, but the chances of giving a pass to infected people who are yet to show the symptoms are high. Again, it will be very unfair to quarantine the entire infected countries. Introduction of self instant diagnosis kits could help in eliminating the disease. This is because a person will be able to identify the infection and get the right treatment before the disease can advance further. Getting serum from the survivors can help in manufacture of antiviral drugs too.

 

References

Hewlett, B. S., & Hewlett, B. L. (2007). Ebola, culture, and politics: The anthropology of an     emerging disease. Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education.

Preston, R. (1995). The hot zone. New York, NY: Anchor Books.