Archive for August, 2014

Ebola – How it is … .

With the current outbreak of Ebola being the worst since its first appearance in 1976, I’ve done a little research to see what exactly is going on.

It started in the areas of Sudan and Congo back in 1976 and, though cleared, it has raised its ugly head several times over the years. It’s a virus which causes haemorrhaging from the eyes, ears, mouth, nose, rectum and even and unbroken skin and, as there is no known cure, it seems that up to ninety percent of those affected will not make it.

The source of this virus is believed to be the fruit bat. This bat carries the virus but is not affected by it and, when it eats fruit and pieces fall to the ground, other animals such as pigs and monkeys, eat the fruit, develop the virus, and die.

Ebola is passed on from sick animals and sick human beings and also via the meat of bats, pigs and monkeys, if eaten when not fully cooked. The most stringent of hygiene and protection is needed to prevent catching Ebola and those working alongside the patients wear protective clothing, a mask, goggles and gloves to hopefully keep themselves safe.

While previous outbreaks have given death figures of around four hundred and a resulting percentage of anywhere between fifty and eighty three percent, deaths from the current outbreak have so far exceeded seven hundred. The virus has also now shown up in some other African countries other than those which experienced earlier outbreaks.

Thankfully, the disease is not thought to be airborne though, if bats are the main reservoir of concern, I wonder where the bats fly to in cooler climes, or whether, like other species of bats, they hibernate in their home areas.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for those professionals who are dedicating themselves to trying to contain and, hopefully, eliminate this current outbreak.