Ebola Is a deadly disease caused by an extremely infectious virus. The first signs (fever, fatigue, nausea ) are frequent, which makes it hard to diagnose in the early stages.
Later symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, impaired liver and liver function, and in some cases internal and external bleeding.
There is presently no treatment for Ebola. Treatment is Limited to Supportive therapy — maintaining patients maintaining their oxygen status and treating any complicating infections.
The first time I deployed to West Africa was in September 2014, at The elevation of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. I’ve witnessed many disease outbreaks in my public health career, but this one was more devastating than I could ever have imagined. It finally took over 11,000 lives.
What has been happening then?
The impact of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone was massive. Before the outbreak, Sierra Leone a poor public health and medical infrastructure. Shortly after the onset of the outbreak, this limit infrastructure totally overwhelmed. Fear and panic widespread, as people limited experience with Ebola and did not understand how to protect themselves and their families from this highly infectious disease.
district of Bombali. As a medical epidemiologist, my role there was not to treat human patients, but rather to look at the overall picture and support the method of outbreak management so that there could finally be fewer patients to treat. While human treatment is essential, you need wider public health interventions to genuinely stop outbreaks. As public health specialists, we examine ways to improve surveillance systems, labs, crisis management, as well as the strength of the workforce — all of which are crucial and create the difference between life and death once an outbreak strikes.
Even though Sierra Leone did possess some public health programs set up Before the outbreak, the sheer size of the outbreak and the country’s unfamiliarity with Ebola made it difficult for the country to respond effectively. As an example, the national surveillance system had never utilized for Ebola before. There was no emergency control system set up. The country suffered social and economic breakdowns, which makes it rely on funds from CDC, other U.S. agencies, and international partners.
What was happening then?
Our on-the-ground work comprises sending disorder detectives from the house. To house to locate cases, educating the community about Ebola, and obtaining samples and patients to labs and treatment centers. That was sometimes hours away over long dirt roads, which had regularly turned to mud by the rains. The work was made harder by the ceaseless heat, the necessity to find gas for vehicles, and frequent power outages. But while I had been there, we investigated over 800 suspected Ebola cases.
At that time, CDC had roughly 60 employees working throughout Sierra Leone; seven were remaining in Makeni and working in Bombali and the adjacent district, Tonkolili. All of us supported each other and became really close. The encounter was draining and often very sad, especially when patients did not make it.
I marvel at the devotion of the doctors, nurses, defense workers, and other Ebola responders who, day after day, put themselves in danger of contracting the deadly disease, which killed about 6 of 10 health care workers who became contaminated. They are our heroes.
What’s happening now?
We learned many lessons from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. I please to say that, due to CDC support and dedication from host governments. In under two years that the region has develop stronger surveillance systems, enhance the safety and quality of its national laboratories. Educated its public health workforce, and recognized emergency operations centers that can quickly establish a coordinated response to a public health threat.
Earlier this season, Liberia faced a Significant test of its own systems when Local health officials reported the emergence of a mysterious illness at a remote town. On April 25, 2017, ten patients, five of whom die, were admit to a rural hospital with symptoms such as confusion, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea. Their illnesses began soon after attending a funeral occasion.
Leaving nothing to chance
Leaving nothing to chance, the Government of Liberia, supported by CDC and other partners, quickly triggered a public health emergency response with their newly developed systems. The emergency operations centre coordinated efforts to stop the outbreak. Disease detectives and surveillance officers, trained by the nation’s new Field Epidemiology Training Program, instantly began to monitor and research cases. Samples from patients quickly collected and analyzed. Quickly ruling out Ebola as the cause and rather affirming meningococcal disease as the culprit.
The country’s improved ability to prevent, detect, and react to Outbreaks helped restrict this epidemic to 31 cases and 13 deaths, with the previous case reported May 7, 2017. The outbreak response was successful because the general public health systems set in place. As a result of this Ebola outbreak strong, and the people train to utilize them were prepare to act.
Why it matters to America
The visit emphasized the importance of the partnership between the U.S. and West African countries in advancing global health safety.
Global health security is a key part of our domestic security. Keeping America safe means ensuring not only nations in West Africa. But all other nations have the ability to prevent outbreaks at the source before they could reach our shores.
We do not know where or when the next epidemic will happen. But these Recent experiences fortify two critical things we do understand. One is that if countries can not respond efficiently, outbreaks can easily cross boundaries and develop into international epidemics.
The work to build needed systems and fulfill global health security Goals is ongoing, but we have seen significant progress. With CDC and other partners to meet global health security objectives. I think we’ll succeed in making the world healthier and safer.