Near the end of 2013, an outbreak of Zaire Ebola virus (EBOV) began in Guinea, subsequently spreading to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone. As this epidemic grew, important public health questions emerged about how and why this outbreak was so different from previous episodes. This review provides a synthetic synopsis of the 2014–15 outbreak, with the aim of understanding its unprecedented spread. As of April 13th, 2016 there have been 28,652 total cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD; or more generally Ebola) in the 2014–2015 West African epidemic The Ebola virus is a member of the family fluoridate, which is composed of single-stranded negative-sense enveloped RNA viruses Since the first outbreak 40 years ago, EVD outbreaks have been rare, small and localized.
The first recorded outbreak of EVD took place in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1976, close to the Yambuku Catholic Mission Hospital located near the Ebola River Valley. At the same time, a separate outbreak of EVD occurred near Mardi in West Equatoria Region in Sudan. Prior to 2014, the largest recorded outbreak of Ebola took place in Uganda from October 2000 to January 2001, with 425 cases and 225 deaths After the discovery of the virus, a large variety of organisms were screened as possible Ebola reservoirs. Bats both efficiently replicate the virus and survive infection, which made them standout as candidate reservoirs. Despite this initial evidence, the first direct evidence those bats are reservoir hosts of Ebola virus was reported in a field study in 2005, almost 30 years after the discovery of the virus. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) specific for ebola virus was found in serum from bats of three different species of fruit bat and phylogenetic analysis showed that they were most likely close relatives of ZEBOV strains Although two types of transmission (animal-to-human
and human-to-human) have been observed, nosocomial transmission has played a key role in the spread of Ebola. Transmission from animals has taken place via the handling and butchering of infected animals, including bats, non-human primates and duikers (a small forest antelope) Healthcare workers are especially at risk for exposure to Ebola because they are more likely to come into contact with contaminated bodily fluids. The traditional funeral and burial practices in West Africa involve washing the body by hand before burial and paying respect to the dead through physical contact which are both exceptionally high-risk activities with regard to the spread of Ebola Based on a retrospective study of the 1995 outbreak in Kik wit DRC, the greatest risk factor for secondary household transmission of Ebola is direct contact with someone who has clinically apparent illness.
This risk increases if there is contact with bodily fluids or the infected person is in the late stages of the disease. Direct contact was determined to be necessary, but not sufficient, for transmission The 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa highlighted major deficiencies in the ability of the international public health and scientific communities to respond to infectious disease emergencies. It also provided a stark reminder of the consequences of not investing in the development of healthcare infrastructure in developing countries. The current system of drug and vaccine development favors the development of drugs and vaccines for chronic diseases that primarily affect people in the developed world, rather than diseases likely to cause epidemics. According to Currie et al, the development of a mechanism for international cooperation in vaccine development and licensing is an urgent priority.
The first step in preventing or minimizing future epidemics is to create an effective global monitoring system for newly emerging pathogens. This relies on improving healthcare infrastructure around the world, resulting in a network of healthcare professionals who could serve as an early warning system for disease outbreaks. It is important that knowledge from a variety of disciplines is employed to create a multifaceted approach to future outbreaks. Another important facet of the global response to disease outbreaks is the rapid mobilization of personnel and resources. Thirdly, the Ebola outbreak has demonstrated the risk that international mobility and air travel poses to infection control, including the panic that can ensue when infected people move across international borders.
The role of mobility and the importance of allocating resources to understand transmission and epidemiological risk has been underscored during the recent Zika virus outbreak, in part because of its previously unknown symptoms and transmission dynamics Ultimately the 2014 Ebola epidemic has shown that infection control measures can fail and that there is a significant risk from infectious disease worldwide. The risks posed by disease outbreaks are complicated by the lack of understanding of the basic biology, limited access to healthcare, poor infrastructure, and increased mobilization. Adequate scientific research and preparation, backed by careful policy.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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