Ebola Outbreak: The Basics

It’s been all over the news. Numerous countries have issued health emergencies in the past week. Hundreds have already lost their lives, and many more fatalities are expected. Doctors, researchers and public health officials are gearing up to provide widespread treatment and find a cure as fast as possible.

It’s the Ebola outbreak. And it’s moving faster than anyone expected, startling the international health community.

Previously, the Ebola outbreak was contained to approximately three countries on Africa’s western coast: Guinea, the outbreak’s origin, Sierra Leone and Liberia. But the disease’s rapid proliferation and the nature of globalization has created concerns about its potential to spread to not only various parts of the continent, but also throughout the world.

Local doctors, along with those employed by Doctors Without Borders, have been hard-at-work in the region to treat those already infected and to keep the disease in check. However, many leading medical professionals treating the disease have been killed as a result of their exposure. In response, villages have blocked these professionals from setting up makeshift hospitals or even entering village boundaries, believing that they are the reason for increased infection within indigenous populations.

Many countries are now considering the possibility of imposing travel bans to and from the West African nations, in order to prevent the formation of a pandemic.

To read more about the deadliest outbreak of Ebola yet, check out this article.
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