The Ebola Epidemic: Why More International Aid is Needed to Prevent its Spread


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The Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is rapidly growing with over 100 confirmed cases and more than 60 people dead in what appears to be the most serious outbreak since the West African outbreak in 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday. To try to stop the spread of Ebola, which causes fever, vomiting, diarrhea and often internal and external bleeding and can be fatal in up to 90% of cases, WHO has released $1 million from an emergency fund and said it will send 11 million doses of an experimental vaccine to DRC next week – enough for 40,000 people.

The head of the global health organisation announced on Wednesday that the World Health Organization is collaborating with Uganda to stop the deadly Ebola outbreak from spreading to other countries.

According to the WHO, 74 confirmed and probable Ebola cases have been found in Uganda’s health authorities throughout five districts. At least 39 people have passed away from the illness, while 14 more have recovered. More than 660 individuals who may have been exposed to the virus are being actively followed up on.

During a global health briefing on Wednesday in Geneva, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated, “Our key aim now is to enable the government of Uganda now to swiftly manage and contain this epidemic, to stop it from spreading to nearby districts and neighbouring countries.”

After a person from a community in the country’s centre tested positive for the virus, Uganda announced an Ebola epidemic in late September. The Sudan ebolavirus strain, which is responsible for the outbreak, has neither authorised vaccines nor therapies.

Airborne transmission is not a means of ebolavirus transmission. Direct contact with the body fluids of someone who has the illness or who has passed away from it causes people to get it. Additionally, interaction with contaminated objects and diseased animals can transmit it.

Until symptoms manifest, which might take up to 21 days, ebola is not infectious. The usual time it takes for symptoms to appear is eight to ten days.

Out of an abundance of caution, the U.S. this week began referring tourists who had spent time in Uganda to five airports for health screenings before entering the nation. The airports are JFK in New York, Newark, Atlanta, O’Hare in Chicago, and Dulles in Washington. Travelers who visited Uganda during the previous 21 days of their entry in the United States are subject to the health exams.

According to a government health official last week, airlines are giving the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention passenger information so the organisation may follow up with the travellers. State and municipal health departments are also receiving this data.

Right now, there are no confirmed Ebola cases in the United States. 2014 saw the diagnosis of Ebola in a guy who had travelled across West Africa and arrived in Dallas. Two nurses who cared for the guy before he passed away also contracted the infection, but they both recovered. During the 2014 Ebola epidemic, seven additional patients who contracted the disease while in West Africa were flown to the U.S. for treatment. Six people made a full recovery, while one passed away.

Last week, the CDC issued an advisory advising clinicians and local health authorities to keep an eye out for people exhibiting symptoms. Patients suspected of having the disease should provide a thorough travel history to healthcare experts, especially if they have recently visited one of Uganda’s impacted regions. In Britain, the U.K. Health Security Agency has issued a comparable notice.

The CDC lists the following symptoms of Ebola: fever, excruciating headaches, severe muscle and joint pain, weakness and exhaustion, sore throat, lack of appetite, stomach discomfort, diarrhoea, and vomiting.


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