Ebola Outbreak Continues To Spread
Ellisha Rader Mannering
The Ebola outbreak that hit Guinea a few weeks ago is still spreading and the CDC is calling it one of the hardest viruses to control. Ebola is a type of hemorrhagic fever and symptoms include severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, sore throat, and in severe cases, bleeding from the mucous membranes.
The reason the Ebola outbreak is so bad and so hard to control is that healthcare workers have no vaccines or medications that can treat the virus. Although there have been many attempts to create vaccines and medications for the virus, there are currently none available. Doctors are treating those infected with the virus by keeping them comfortable and treating their symptoms. Many sufferers also require blood transfusions or plasma donations.
“If you have a medical facility to give you blood or plasma or fluid, you’re not specifically attacking the Ebola, but you’re giving the patient a better chance of surviving,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “Some people who have the best medical care still die, and there are some people with no care who survive. But you have the best chance if you have medical care.”
There have been over 158 cases of Ebola in Guinea and 101 of these people died because of the virus. Although Guinea’s Foreign Minister Francois Fall claims that the disease is under control, Liberia recently reported 25 cases which resulted in 12 deaths. About 70% of people who contract the virus will also die from it.
Researchers are currently working on vaccines and say that one may be in the near future. They believe that gene splicing other viruses could allow them to create a vaccine that targets a specific part of the Ebola virus and creates immunity to it. They are expecting to begin clinical trials within three years.
Do you think there will ever be a vaccine or cure for Ebola?
Image via Wikimedia Commons