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The scare of an Ebola outbreak is no joke and is just about similar to what happens in a zombie movie, but way slower. Ebola has killed thousands in West Africa and more people continue to become sickened by the deadly virus. In fact, Ebola has made its way outside the concentrated areas of Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and has crossed borders over to Europe and the U.S.A. Though governments are trying hard to ensure the virus is contained, it is proving a difficult with limited resources and potential transmission.
Officials have been trying to ease public outcry over a deadly, yet somewhat treatable virus. Although Ebola has killed more than 5000 people in West Africa, few have died outside areas which do not have a considerable outbreak. Still, the panic among areas of high-density population appears to be justified in that the spread of illnesses similar to Ebola can be a serious matter.
In fact, from the end of August and throughout September, the U.S. faced a nationwide spread of an enterovirus which was causing some children to end up at hospitals. Enterovirus D-68 had symptoms similar to a cold, yet was causing kids with breathing problems to be monitored at hospitals. The strain was even blamed for causing slight paralysis.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was involved because the number of children ending up at emergency rooms in hospitals appeared to become unprecedented. Why were so many kids getting severely ill from this particular strain of enterovirus, a virus known to appear around late summer and early fall? Though the CDC posted an update on their website claiming 51 cases in 23 states fall under an investigation to determine the origin of the virus and if it is linked to abnormalities involving lesions in the gray matter of the spinal cord, the spread of the virus appears to have subsided as it reportedly does once the month of October has arrived.
An Ebola scare, on the other hand, is similar to the action found in a zombie movie because the virus can slowly spread to another person through bodily fluid transmission. Once it starts to spread without any real precautionary taken, it can cause a devastating outbreak and is capable of unprecedented deaths, such as in those parts of West Africa which do not have secure and sterile environments. Also, if there is not enough necessary health workers to contain the infection, people can unknowingly continue to spread the deadly virus.
ABC News reported the United Nations (U.N.) stated authorities have been concentrating on Liberia and Sierra Leone in West Africa to combat Ebola epidemics. It appears, however, that health workers may be having problems tracing new cases. Not only that, there is reportedly a need for more health care workers, funds, and supplies in order to properly treat those infected, or those who have a high potential of being infected due to contact with a loved one diagnosed with Ebola. Also, according to ABC News, the fear of transmission between healthcare workers and those affected may be hindering efforts to treat patients as well.
The U.N. was reported as saying their target to contain the deadly virus is 70 percent. This means U.N. workers are focused on getting those infected in West Africa into treatment centers. The U.N. is also reportedly looking for assistance in burying those who have died of Ebola in a safe and secure burial site.
ABC News stated France sent a total of around 60 million euros to help battle the potentially dangerous virus, which also includes an extra 20 million that was recently sent, the French President was reported as saying. Most of these funds will head to Guinea, though, where France had formerly occupied the area. The French government is also reportedly building four treatment centers.
A scare of an Ebola outbreak may be similar to what happens in a zombie movie, but it is no joke when thousands of people are actually dying from it, such as those living in parts of West Africa. People in other countries may have used the deadly virus to instill fear or panic upon others, but fortunately, it has also led institutions, such as hospitals and the CDC to being prepared and staying aware of potential outbreaks.
Opinion By Liz Pimentel