Last week, it was learned that an outbreak of the Ebola virus had struck the West African country of Guinea. However, despite the country’s efforts to contain the deadly virus, Ebola continues to ravage Guinea as the death toll reaches 70.
The health ministry of the West African nation released a statement saying the number of confirmed cases of Ebola has risen to 111 and the death toll has reached 70. The country of Guinea is working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to try to contain the virus and prevent further spreading and deaths.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a genetic analysis of the Ebola virus was conducted and results show that this strain closes resembles the Zaire Ebola virus that was reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2009.
Humans contract the Ebola virus by coming in close contact with animals that carry the virus such as fruit bats, chimpanzees, gorillas, and monkeys. Fruit bats are a popular food, prepared in a soup or smoked; therefore, Guinea has placed a ban on all bat soups to try to prevent further infection. As the death toll has now reached 70, every precaution is being taken to prevent Ebola from continuing to ravage Guinea.
While most outbreaks are thought to be associated with hunters who have eaten the meat of apes that have died from the Ebola virus, infection can also occur when fruit contaminated with an infected bat’s saliva or feces is eaten or when infected bat meat is eaten.
Ebola is not readily detectable and may initially be misdiagnosed because many of the symptoms such as headache, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and rash mimic other more common diseases. Once infected with Ebola, a person is highly contagious and can easily spread the virus to others, especially if they are not isolated. According to the CDC, caregivers must wear “appropriate protective equipment, such as gloves, masks, and gowns,” to prevent becoming infected and further spreading the disease. In addition, needles and syringes should be properly disposed of and other instruments used to care for the infected should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
There is no cure available for the Ebola virus, but there are medications that can help fight the disease. According to the CDC, standard treatment includes treating infections, stabilizing blood pressure, administering oxygen, and ensuring fluid and electrolyte levels are balanced. In most cases, those infected require hospitalization and intensive care in order to fight the virus and increase their chance of survival.
To date, there have not been any confirmed cases of Ebola outside the borders of Guinea. However, approximately 12-suspected cases of the virus are being investigated in neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia.
As a precaution, another neighboring area, Senegal, has decided to close their borders to Guinea in the southeastern region of Kolda and the southern region of Kedougou in an effort to try to prevent the deadly Ebola virus from infiltrating their area.
The Ebola virus continues to ravage Guinea as the death toll has now reached 70. The West African country, however, along with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) are trying to contain the deadly disease and prevent further spreading.
By Donna W. Martin