What is Ebola virus disease?
- Ebola is a kind of hemorrhagic fever caused by the Ebola virus. It starts with mild symptoms like fever, sore throat, headache and goes on to internal and external bleeding.
- Patients in serious cases, generally die within 6-16 days after symptoms appear, making it a high death risk disease killing between 25 and 90 percent of those infected.
- The virus spreads through body fluids.
Where did it start from?
- The case which was identified to have started Ebola was the death of a 2-year old in Guinea whose mother, sister and grandmother died from the disease shortly after.
- The people who attended the late toddler's grandmother's funeral carried the virus to Liberia and Sierra Leone where it spread like a wild fire causing thousands of deaths within 3-4 months.
Shocking facts and figures!
- A total of 11,193 people have been reported dead in 6 countries of Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the US and Mali.
- More than 27,352 cases have been reported.
- Total deaths (countrywise): Liberia- 4,806, Sierra Leone- 3,926, Guinea- 2,446, Nigeria- 8, Mali- 6 and US- 1.
- The World Health Organization had declared Ebola an "international health emergency" on 8 August 2014.
Countries affected by Ebola
Apart from Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, USA and Mali, Ebola cases were also reported in Spain, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Norway and Switzerland but all the patients recovered fully from the deadly disease.
Impact of Ebola on the affected countries
1 Oct 2014
- Before the outbreak of Ebola, the three affected nations especially Sierra Leone and Liberia had a rapid economic growth rate.
- Apart from the enormous loss of life which occurred in these countries, agriculture, tourism, trade and transport sections were hit badly by the Ebola epidemic.
- Revenues from taxes, tariffs and customs duties dropped dangerously due to reduced economic activity in the countries.
Ebola reported again in Liberia!
6 Jul 2015
- Three fresh cases were reported in Liberia as Ebola marked its comeback in the country.
- Liberia was declared free from Ebola on 9 May 2015 even though it remained at risk due to cases reported in Guinea and Sierra Leone.
- WHO reported that a teenage boy who neither traveled nor came in contact with anyone from those countries had first caught the virus.
Ebola struck nations appeal for help from UN
10 Jul 2015
- Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone appealed for an amount of $3.2 billion to United Nations.
- These funds would help them to recover from the Ebola epidemic aftermath which has crushed their economy.
- Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, speaking on behalf of the three countries had said, "The world as a whole has a great stake in how we together respond to this global threat."
Pledge of $3.4 billion for Ebola recovery made at UN
12 Jul 2015
- Around $3.4 billion in pledges were made at the United Nations to help West-African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
- This would help to rebuild the health systems and economies devastated by the worst outbreak of Ebola.
- An amount of $3.2 billion was needed to support the national recovery plans of the affected countries for the next two years as quoted by UN.
2/3rd Ebola cases caused by 'super-spreaders'
15 Feb 2017
- According to a research, majority of the Ebola cases around the world were spread from a handful of patients.
- The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and reveals that nearly two thirds of cases (61%) were caused only by 3% of the infected people.
- The young and old were more likely to be 'super-spreaders', said the study.
Understanding the Economic Effects of the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa | Brookings Institution
Ebola-stricken countries appeal for $3.2bn to help rebuild after epidemic | World news | The Guardian
PC: 'Ebola Virus (3)' By NIAID (Ebola Virus) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons