Ebola Resurfaces in West Africa

BY ALLISON KOZICHAROW; EDITED BY BERNICE BORN

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bola is back. The World Health Organization (WHO) is preparing for the worst as it continues to respond to the Ebola outbreak declared by the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 8.

 

Peter Salama, WHO deputy director-general of emergency preparedness and response, said that “stopping this outbreak will be a serious challenge. This will be tough, and it will be costly. We need to be prepared for all scenarios.”

 

An Ebola vaccine which proved to be highly protective in a Guinea medical trial in 2016 may soon be sent to the Congo in the hope of preventing an epidemic. The vaccine’s success in controlling the recent outbreak in the Congo will face steep challenges, such as keeping the vaccine cool in the heat, lack of infrastructure in rural areas, reaching those people who have been exposed, and the danger of a pandemic should the virus spread to overpopulated cities.

 

WiRED is often a first responder in providing education to enable the local population to address the immediate situation and establish an ongoing information and training support presence.

In response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa four years ago, WiRED International produced the first computer-based, expertly written, peer-reviewed Ebola training modules, which developed into a prevention education program throughout Africa. WiRED offers Ebola modules written for both healthcare professionals and general audiences, and the four modules have been translated into French. WiRED is often a first responder in providing education to enable the local population to address the immediate situation and establish an ongoing information and training support presence.

 

Thirty-four cases of Ebola have been reported in the Congo this year as of May 11. WiRED will continue to monitor and report on the ongoing situation in that country.

 

 


You can download the modules in this story, and all 400+ of our health modules, through WiRED’s Health Module Access Program (HealthMAP) by clicking here. This completely free program will enable you to create your own customized library of health education training modules. You can learn more about HealthMAP through WiRED's animation.

 

 


What is Ebola?

 

Ebola hemorrhagic fever is one of many viral hemorrhagic fevers. It is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates, and is one of the world’s most contagious diseases. However, the infection can be controlled through recommended protective measures.

 

Ebola is transmitted by contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people. Unfortunately, early signs of Ebola are nonspecific and can mimic flu-like symptoms. Ebola attacks and damages the lining of blood vessels, causing bleeding and blood clots, which cut off blood supply to many organs in the body such as the brain, liver and kidneys. Resulting complications lead to liver and kidney failure, shock, seizures, coma and death in about 50% to 100% of infected patients.

 

Ebola is endemic to West Africa, where an outbreak in 2014 led to the deaths of more than 11,300 people.

 

 

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