My thoughts about Ebola in Africa

I haven’t had the time to write a post in ages… been swamped with work, plus I moved into a new place and I haven’t setup my internet there yet.

Anyway, down to the topic at hand. With the Ebola virus outbreak, and discussions going on at the office, I decided to say a few things about the Ebola “situation”. These are my thoughts about the topic, as my opinions, some enlightenment and perhaps general information.

Origins

So… the virus is not something new as it was first discovered in the 70’s from a monkey (HIV, and then what else from monkeys?!) by some scientist(s) or so. So, it’s an animal virus/disease but affects humans as well (like the swine flu, I guess).

2014 Outbreak

While the virus isn’t new, there are different strains (or species!?) of the Ebola virus but the outbreak of 2014 happened to be the deadliest strain know, which is what makes this year’s case special and more difficult.

Spread

The spread is facilitated by the fact that the early symptoms are basic, like headaches, fever, diarrhea and those who had no idea about Ebola, would try to treat these people according to these symptoms (eg. treating a fever, etc.). Putting things together from my research, those vulnerable to the #Ebola virus are those who are in direct contact with infected individuals (like family members, health workers treating the infected, and so on). That means the general public is not at risk, and this is evident as the number of infected people in Nigeria isn’t increasing. However, the other West African countries don’t seem to be handling the virus properly, hence the spread.

Contiguous

While Ebola isn’t airborne, it is contiguous nonetheless. However, you don’t get infected by mare physical contact with the infected. The virus can be gotten from body fluids of infected persons or animals, like blood, sweat, saliva, and so on, coming in contact with your blood stream somehow. Like through ingestion, or contact with cuts and open wounds, and so on. So physical contact with an infected body fluid increases your chances of infection, but doesn’t mean you’re get infected once you touch infected blood or sweat, etc.

Prevention

Since the virus actually has to get inside your body before you get infected then washing your hands properly or using disinfectants and personal sanitizers can kill the virus before it gets inside your body. And apparently, exposure to direct sunlight also kills the virus (outside the body). Also, people have been advised to stay off “bush meat” and some ‘suspect’ that animals like antelopes or chimps may contribute to the spread of the virus.

Bush Meat?

I saw on AlJazeera the other day the president of the Nigerian Association of Hunters saying that this is a big lie. I must admit, I have to agree with him! Nigerians have been eating bush meat for as far back as I can remember, and even I love bush meat. Ebola only got into Nigeria through the infected Liberian-American (RIP), so how is it that the bush meat that has been eating for decades suddenly became infected?! How’s that possible? Unless a vast majority of animals in Nigeria fed off the carcass of those infected… there’s about no way bush meat in general can spread the virus. Nevertheless, people have refused to refrain from eating bush meat in Nigeria.

Treatment?

They say the fatality rate of Ebola is 50% to 90%. This means that out of every 10 infected people, 5 to 9 of them would die, or 1 to 5 of them would survive. So it makes me wonder… those that survived, what did they do to survive the Ebola??! I saw an Ebola survivor explaining his experience on TV the other day, but he made no mention of what he did to overcome the virus.

In Summary?

So in summary, the Ebola virus is rather deadly because it is highly fatal, it has no officially documented cure and those infected have about a month to live (50% to 90% of the time). Despite the deadliness of the stain of Ebola that broke out in West Africa recently (since December 2013), it is still preventable. Those in Nigeria still go about their normal day to day business as usual, and life goes on.

Unfortunately for those in other infected West African countries (like Liberia), life isn’t the same. Some countries have closed their borders to the infected countries for now, until things are under control. Even Air France has cancelled flights to Liberia for now, and according to AlJazeera, Liberia says it may take up to 6 months before things start to look normal again for the country.

China has sent sanitary materials and clothing to the infected countries, while Canada and USA have sent limited quantity of experimental drugs to West Africa (mostly Liberia, I guess).

Ebola is a deadly virus, but it is very preventable.

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