Ebola: what’s happening now?

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Ebola: what’s happening now?

Ebola virus via Wikimedia

Ebola virus via Wikimedia

Ebola virus via Wikimedia

Evin Ersan, Business Manager

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Ebola, one of the deadliest viruses in the known to man, sparked worldwide panic in 2014 when an outbreak of the virus occurred in Africa, killing thousands. But what is the situation now?  

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been suffering its ninth outbreak of the disease, but this time health workers are armed with a new weapon to combat it: a vaccine. The vaccine’s name is rVSV-ZEBOV and it has so far proved effective in beating back the recent outbreak.

New measures taken such as better trained health staff, free hospital care for patients, new protective gear protocols and new patient interaction regulations have also made a tremendous impact on reducing the effect and spread of Ebola. Donald G. McNeil Jr, author of the article, “Ebola Attacked Congo Again. But Now Congo Seems to Be Winning” stated that of the 78 beds available for patient use less than 30 are actually in use. Even with this news, however, experts are still on red alert for fear of a further spread.

Even though the number of reported cases of Ebola is decreasing, there is still a major threat as stated by Dr. Oly Ilunga, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s health minister. He went on to say that as time goes, more waves of people in close contact with the first wave patients will come down with the disease due to the exposure before the arrival health workers.

Health officials are not taking chances as they do not want a repeat of the 2014 epidemic that killed 11,000 people. Cases are now treated quickly and effectively but carefully. Fast response time has been one of the most important if not the most important improvement in the fight against Ebola and has saved countless lives. Because of all the positive health improvements, the outbreak seems to now be contained and the number of reported cases is lowering by the day, but there is always the chance of another outbreak. Health officials are maintaining their alertness.