The Western part of Africa is facing the largest Ebola outbreak in history. In Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone 467 deaths have been registered since February. The authorities and nonprofit health organizations are overwhelmed by the crisis. Efforts to inform the populations and take efficient measures are met with resistance and violence. The worsening epidemic comes just a couple of months after India become polio-free. The virus is deadly in 90 percent of the cases. The transmission can occur through contact with infected persons’ or animals’ bodily fluids. Among the symptoms are fatigue, internal bleeding and fever. The symptoms occur two weeks after the infection. The WHO named three major reasons of why the outbreak is so vast. One is related to the traditional burial practices of the local populations. Another that the dense population in the capital cities greatly eases the transmission. A third reason is the intense commercial activities taking place along the borders between the three countries.
Managing the largest Ebola outbreak in history
The Red Cross personnel in Guinea city of Gueckedou have been threatened by a group of people armed with knives on Tuesday, according to Reuters. This is not the first incident. A similar one took place two months ago by Doctors Without Borders near the city of Macenta. A Red Cross official declared they are suspending the operations for the time being due to safety concerns.
People are crossing the borders as usual in trading or other activities, making it harder for the authorities to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. Eleven Health Ministers from Western Africa will meet on Wednesday and Thursday to establish a strategy aimed at tackling the situation. The World Health Organization argues that “Containment of this outbreak requires a strong response in the countries and especially along their shared border areas,”. The total number of infected persons reached 759 in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Other 68 infected persons died since June 23, WHO reported. The situation is worsened by the fact that people turn to traditional doctors and faith healers. The Liberian authorities warned that anybody hiding an infected person will be punished under the state law. The management of the largest Ebola outbreak in history is deeply influenced by the fact that these are some of the poorest countries in the world. Their deeply underfinanced health systems have troubles in covering the situation which is only worsened by the frail borders.