Sierra Leone President declared public health emergency to curb Ebola disease

President of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma proclaimed a public health emergency in Sierra Leone to control the deadly Ebola outbreak. Ebola has so far caused death of around 233 in Sierra Leone.

According to the UN data, 729 people in West Africa have died of Ebola since February 2014. The spread of the virus is now the largest recorded in world history, and has infected three African capitals of Monrovia (Liberia), Freetown (Sierra Leone) and Conakry (Guinea) with international airports. The head of the WHO and leaders of West African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak decided to announce a new $100million response plan.

The seriousness of the Ebola and the continuous threat it poses, required WHO and Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to take up the response plan.  The plan will necessitate increased resources, in-country medical expertise, regional preparedness and coordination.

About deadly Ebola virus (EBOV)

  • Order: Mononegavirales.
  • Family: Filoviridae.
  • Genus: Ebolavirus.
  • Causes an extremely severe disease in humans and in nonhuman primates in the form of viral hemorrhagic fever.
  • Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) is a viral haemorrhagic fever and one of the most virulent viral diseases known to humankind.
  • Distinct strains of the Ebola virus: Bundibugyo, Ivory Coast, Reston, Sudan and Zaire
  • Fruit bats are considered to be virus’ natural host. Transmission to humans can come from wild animals or from direct contact from infected human blood, feces or sweat, or by sexual contact and the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses
  • Signs and symptoms: Severe fever and muscle pain, weakness, vomiting and diarrhea. Then, organs shut down, causing unstoppable bleeding.
  • Between two and 21 days after becoming infected, patients begin to feel weak and experience headaches, muscle aches and chills. They lose their appetite and feel lethargic, suffering from stomach cramps, diarrhea and nausea. A so-called hemorrhagic fever sets in, accompanied by severe internal bleeding. This condition affects the gastrointestinal tract, spleen and lungs, eventually leading to the death.
  • The virus is called ‘a molecular shark’ in health publications.
  • According to the World Health Organization, the deadly fever has a fatality rate of up to 90 %.
  • No cure or vaccine for the virus.
  • Occurs mostly in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rain forests.

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Categories: International Current Affairs 2017

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