Ebola fever takes West Africa by storm

Hannah Porter, Staff Writer

Countries all over Africa have been infected with Ebola Fever, including Sierra Leone, Liberia (where the disease is spreading amazingly fast. 500 new cases were recorded as of September 9th), and Guinea.

Ebola Fever is defined as “an infectious and generally fatal disease marked by fever and severe internal bleeding, spread through contact with infected body fluids by a filovirus (Ebola virus), whose normal host species is unknown.”

Every so often, Ebola takes Western Africa by storm. This most recent infection is the biggest outbreak in history. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) describes Ebola as “one of the world’s most deadly diseases.”

The illness has affected more than 4,200 and killed more than 2,200 people in this recent outbreak, including the 240 healthcare workers that went to these African countries to help with the sick. More than half of the workers are now dead.

A third American worker, Dr. Rick Sacra, has been diagnosed while treating pregnant women in Monrovia, Liberia. Sacra’s family commented, “Although this is the worst possible news, his wife Debbie is confident that Dr. Jerry Brown, Rick’s Liberian colleague and friend, is doing everything he can to care for Rick through these days when the sickness is most intense.”

The numbers of the infected are still rising and the volunteers are doing everything they can to find a vaccine and treat this fatal disease.

There is no vaccine for Ebola, but the National Institutes of Health (NIH) just released a clinical trial drug. The NIH plan on giving it to 10 patients and observing the effects the drug has on each person.