Essay Example on Ebola Virus

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Vanderbilt University
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Ebola is one of the most infectious and most life endangering disease ever known by human beings. In many years it has shown to reoccur in many parts of the world and Sierra Leone is the most prone country. In Sierra Leone, the virus of Ebola occurred on 18th March 2014; the health official of the neighboring Guinean announced the outbreak of Ebola which they termed as the bursting of the red blood cells in an individual which entailed hemorrhagic fever (Wolz, 2014). The officials further mentioned the infection strike like lightening, meaning it killed individuals in a life span of hours after the infection. The virus was thought to arise from the group of flying mammals that contracted the virus to the human beings. The bat-hunting was associated with the spread of the virus as it shares common sources of the food with the people. Hence, Ebola in Sierra Leone spread in many controllable ways that threatened the lives of both doctors and ordinary citizens.

Fundamentally, Ebola virus spread in Sierra Leone through different channels that facilitated the widespread of the virus. The transmission that is believed to occur by contact with the infected body fluid be it semen, saliva, sweat, urine, blood and even contaminated faeces. Some routes of transmission like breastfeeding did not report high cases of infection. However, in Sierra Leone, the primary source that spread the virus was the big desire of friends and relatives of the deceased to get involved in the funeral. For example, the Kissi people in the country have a culture of burying the dead near them, and the kind of culture took the front line of a spread of the virus in the society. Further, some cultures of rubbing the dead body with oil and dressing of the corpse with the fine clothing deeper widened the rate of spread.

Furthermore, the main link of Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone was associated with the attendance of the funeral of the previous victim of the virus. The deceased was alleged to be a traditionalist cure who had tried to heal the Ebola victims. Through his direct contact with the infected patients, he died of the virus. The number of people who died after attending the funeral was estimated to be 365 people who contracted the disease at the event of the funeral (Meltzer, 2014). However, the small percentage of the spread of the virus in the country was associated with the consumption of the bush-meat. Through handling the uncooked meat or the droppings of the animals, the virus was spread as well though in negligible portions.

In addition, the two US doctors who followed all the protocols of handling the group four hazardous agents still managed to contract the disease. By the date, 27th March 2014, five more people were reported to die of the virus. By the 9th June, 16 more people were reported to die of the virus while the others 150 reported new cases of infection. Unfortunately, despite the measures made by the government and the local hospitals, the virus spread so quickly killing up to some 12 nurses hence the virus overwhelmed the entire country despite having the world`s only isolation ward of Lassa fever. Hence, due to the threatening cases of infection, the country announced the state of emergency in the district of Kailahun.

In that regard, the virus affected the normal running of the country. Several schools were closed with a robust measure of controlling human movement from one point to another as a method of reducing the spread. Church and fellowship meetings were banned with a mass mobilization on avoiding culture actions in the case of burying a victim of Ebola. The habits of kissing and applying oil to the corpses were highly discouraged, and the government went as far as not releasing the corpses of Ebola. Cultures were modulated as well as people accepting to abandon some of their habit cultures for the purpose of helping them to combat the spread.

Also, many people evacuated the country including the foreign investors and other foreign doctors. Most of the US workers left for their country. For example, in late September the year 2014, an American doctor working in Sierra Leone was evacuated back to his country in Maryland, US after he was exposed to Ebola (Rivers, 2014). The incidence came as a result of the doctor being involved in an accident and diagnosed with fever even though he was later confirmed that the fever was not exposure to Ebola.

However, several countries donated help to aid the kerbing of the crisis in Sierra Leone. The government received 40 million US dollars from the international donors to facilitate the management of the virus. Further, the New York Times reported that the shipping container remained on the coast of Free town so as to keep a steady supply of the nurses who could aid the program of treatment. The best solution to fighting the first spread of the virus is enhancing mass education on the routes of transmission. Further, the people fast reporting of any Ebola speculated case as soon as possible. The symptoms of the infection thus should be made clear to people so as to tell when the outbreak takes place quickly. Further, restricting and declaring zero movements in and out of the areas that have fast reported the cases of Ebola will ultimately lower the chances of the rapid spread.

In conclusion, the Ebola virus claimed the lives of many people of Sierra Leone in a short period. Further, it threatened the health of both doctors and individuals as it truly proved to be hard to manage. As well, the several challenges that arose from the outbreak disrupted the culture of people and even the normal running of the country. Hence, better measures of the controlled should be put in line for any future outbreak of the same disease.


Kilmarx, P.H., Clarke, K.R., Dietz, P.M., Hamel, M.J., Husain, F., McFadden, J.D., Park, B.J., Sugerman, D.E., Bresee, J.S., Mermin, J. and McAuley, J., 2014. Ebola virus disease in health care workersSierra Leone, 2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 63(49), pp.1168-71.

Meltzer, M.I., Atkins, C.Y., Santibanez, S., Knust, B., Petersen, B.W., Ervin, E.D., Nichol, S.T., Damon, I.K. and Washington, M.L., 2014. Estimating the likely number of cases in the Ebola epidemicLiberia and Sierra Leone, 20142015. MMWR Surveill Summ, 63(Suppl 3), pp.1-14.

Rivers, C.M., Lofgren, E.T., Marathe, M., Eubank, S. and Lewis, B.L., 2014. Modelling the impact of interventions on an epidemic of Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia. arXiv preprint arXiv:1409.4607.

Schieffelin, J.S., Shaffer, J.G., Goba, A., Gbakie, M., Gire, S.K., Colubri, A., Sealfon, R.S., Kanneh, L., Moigboi, A., Momoh, M. and Fullah, M., 2014. Clinical illness and outcomes in patients with Ebola in Sierra Leone. New england journal of medicine, 371(22), pp.2092-2100.

Wolz, A., 2014. Face to face with Ebolaan emergency care center in Sierra Leone. New England Journal of Medicine, 371(12), pp.1081-1083.


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