The recent drastic reduction of Ebola prevalence in Guinea this month as reported by the health minister, came as a relief . The discovery has proven that Ebola hemorrhagic virus may not last long in Guinea.
Ebola is a deadly disease with high rate of mortality. Its fatality ratio is known to be as high as 90 percent. Early signs and symptoms of Ebola infection include pain in the joint, headache, fatigue and fever. Rash eruption, random body bleeding and diarrhea are later symptoms of the virus with hiccups finally setting in at the final stage.
The virus inhabits the blood upon penetration into the human body where it suppresses the immune system, replicates and cause excessive internal clotting of blood and organ malfunction. It can be acquired through contact with blood, saliva and body fluids of an infected person or animal (dead or alive). Its mode of transmission creates serious challenge in discovering a cure.
Since its first appearance in 1907 was observed, several attempts to totally eradicate the virus have proven abortive. This is because both family relations, health workers and any other person stands the chance of getting infected as long as contact by touch is established. The hemorrhagic virus takes 2 – 21 days to fully develop in the human body. Symptoms begin to manifest after the developmental stage.
Sadly, 107 years after its first discovery, news about its return filled the air late January this year. Its prevalence is recorded in certain West African countries, which include Guinea, Congo, Gabon and Liberia. As more and more countries continue to be affected, global concerns over its predominance and widespread have been actively demonstrated.
Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF) which was first experienced in Guinea this year, may not last long. Research carried out on the genome of this virus have proven to be different from that of Central African Republic (CAR) but similar to that of Congo with which they shared common historically relationship. Ebola, which has killed more than 120 people in the West African region, is now on the decrease and may not last long in Guinea as reported by the Health Minister.
However, it is recommended that intensive health care services should still be on going for about 3-4 months so as to achieve enough concrete evidence to clear the air. Measures have been put in place to stern further spread of the lethal virus in and out of Guinea. Mandatory health check on planes at arrival at the airport is one of the measures already put in place to curb its activities. Debates are currently on going for border closure to enhance proper examination.
Thanks to instantaneous medical interventions from within and outside the country. The country’s ministry of health and other voluntary health organizations have helped in curbing further spread of the killer disease. Isolation centers are regularly being established for prompt observation, diagnosis and treatment while medical hypothetical study and research exercises are frequently carried out to checkmate further spread of the disease in the country. Foreign aid and support are also being supplied.
Notwithstanding, more work still needs to be done to totally eradicate the virus and drastically reduce its mortality rate to the nearest minimum. As the cases of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF) lessens, it is obvious that it may not last long in Guinea.
Commentary by Obed Uche