In a matter of months the concern over the Ebola infections in West Africa and abroad went from a substantial roar in the media to no more than a faint whisper. The current outbreak started in December of 2013 in Guinea, and shortly after spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. The situation in these and various neighboring countries rapidly escalated and has become entirely out of control in some places. Incidents in First World countries, however were quickly contained and treated for fear of an unregulated spread of the incredibly deadly disease.
While the situation in developed nations is currently not a massive issue or health concern, the disease caused by the Ebola virus is currently still an issue in Western and Central Africa. Liberia, the country which has been the most affected by this decimating disease, still has many thousands of active cases and has had nearly 5,000 reported deaths. Until health and cleanliness standards in these developing nations have improved Ebola will continue to be an issue in one way or another.
Ebola is not currently a primary concern for Americans or others in developed non-African nations because it is relatively difficult to contract and spread in places with advanced medical practices and policies in place. A large reason why Ebola spread to begin with was due to the poor medical and cleanliness standards in Western African nations. The issue has received a lot of attention in recent months, however, and a global outpouring of support and aid to these illness-ravaged nations has occurred. This bodes well for the people of these nations, as medical professionals from around the world have answered the call of duty by donating time, money, expertise, supplies and other assistance to help those affected by this illness.
African nations will continue to have serious issues with this illness until several things occur. First and foremost it is necessary to educate the public about the ways this disease is spread. Misinformation is rampant in some countries and as long as this disease remains stigmatized the progress towards eradicating it will be stifled. In addition to a large amount of misinformation about the disease’s mechanism of action, transmission, and origin there is also a huge lack of accurate information in many West African nations. This must also be remedied before the disease can make steps towards being exterminated. Education must also take place regarding the disease’s natural reservoir, or where it exists naturally without human hosts. Bats and other bush meat animals which are eaten by foragers and hunters are the natural reservoir of this disease, and until foragers and hunters are educated about food safety and modern cleanliness standards we will continue to see infections.
In closing, Ebola infection is still a huge concern to those living in impoverished conditions in West Africa, namely those in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea and it will continue to be until the general populace can become more educated about the disease. While the disease does not pose a serious or grave concern to the health of those in developed nations it is possible that we will continue to see infections in these developed countries until we see an improvement in West Africa.
Mark Sadaka is a vaccine injury lawyer who represents numerous clients from around the country. Sadaka’s firm has the resources and expertise necessary to successfully handle these medically complex cases. Go to Vaccine Injury Help Center if you have vaccine injury related concerns.