"The World and Ebola"

Ajsha B. Davie
November 2, 2014

Recently, Ebola has made it to the United States and has created sort of a panic among citizens. The first case that was discovered in the U.S. was on 30 September 2014 was a person who had traveled from West Africa to Dallas, Texas. He did not have symptoms while he was in West Africa nor when he was leaving. In fact, he did not start showing symptoms of Ebola until four days after he was already in the United States.

Although, some people think that Ebola is a new disease it has actually already been a lot of cases outside of the U.S. The first time Ebola emerged was in 1976 in Nzara, Sudan and in Yambuku, the Democratic Republic of Congo. The outbreak appeared near the Ebola River hence the name "Ebola." Since, Ebola has been around before, shouldn't we know how to stop the outbreak although it did not make it to the U.S? Of course we should. Although, we cannot cure everyone of the disease we have made some improvements. For example, even though we do not have a definite cure we have medicine to give to the patient to slow down the symptoms. In comparison it is a big step from when the disease was first discovered in 1976.

Another big step compared to when the disease was first discovered is the way in which we handle the cases we come in contact with. For example, in 1976 there wasn't really any knowledge about the disease so we did not know how it spread or ways that we could protect ourselves. Now, we put people with the disease in isolation and take extra precautions to make sure patients don't spread the disease.

A country that has learned from past outbreaks of Ebola is Nigeria. A man who was taking care of one of his family members who had died of Ebola in Liberia had run a fever and had symptoms of Ebola was hospitalized in Liberia. Although, he had been advised not to fly, he did so anyways and when he arrived at the Nigerian airport he collapsed. After collapsing he was taken to the hospital and at the hospital it took three days before he was diagnosed with Ebola because he had told the doctors that he had not been exposed to Ebola although one of his family members that he was taking care of had just died of the disease.

The patient died of the disease but experts created a list of 898 people who could have came in contact with the disease. The patient who had died ended up passing the disease to three other people including a health care worker. Another list of about 526 more people who could've came in contact with the disease was made. Seeing how many people that could've been diagnosed with the disease just from two people shows how vigilant health care workers and authorities need to be in order to keep track of the disease and to control exposure.

Just from the Nigeria example we can see how far we have came to controlling the disease compared to 1976 when we had just discovered it. Moving forward we can use this as an example in the U.S to control the spreading of Ebola here and other places around the world.

Works Consulted

Ebola virus.