Ebola is a virus that got its name from the place it is believed to have originated from, River Ebola in Zaire. It was first detected in 1976 and to this day, no one knows where it comes from or its cause. It is a mystery to scientists and even people found in the areas affected because it disappears and later emerges after some time. Some of the places where it has been witnessed include west, central and eastern Africa. There is no known case of survival to this day, and it is believed that it has 100% fatality rate. This fact is proven because one case of an American that contracted it in Africa died even after receiving specialized treatment back home. Ebola only leaves traces of death witnessed in the high number of deaths whenever it strikes. A person dies after two to twenty- one days. It is a very deadly disease, whose cause and cure is yet to be discovered, and yet it has severe effects on the immediate society and the world at large.
Exposure and contraction of the virus happens when a person gets direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person (Jamieson et al. 2014). There are several ways in which this happens. To begin with, a person can get infected through direct infection which occurs when a needle or syringe gets into the body, and hence into the bloodstream. Some will also get infected indirectly, say by getting into contact with a person who already has the virus. It is believed that the virus is transmitted through body fluids such as sperms, saliva and even blood. The virus exists in sperms and can, therefore, get transmitted sexually. Even after clinical recovery has been declared, the virus can still exist in the sperms. The main modes of transmission are, therefore, based on the exposure to body fluids of an already infected person.
There are two categories of the signs and symptoms of Ebola. They depend on how long the Ebola virus has stayed in the body. Immediate signs that show when a person has contracted the virus include among others, chills, weakness especially in the joints and muscles, fever and severe headache. After a couple of days, the patient starts feeling nauseated and eventually starts vomiting, they may diarrhea, red watery eyes, chest pains and cough, a rash weight loss experienced after a short time and eventually bleeding from the eyes and other openings in the body. There is no known treatment of the disease and even after managing it; patients will eventually die. It is a disease that kills and is easily transmitted. It is no wonder that very many people die of it after a very short time (Soni & Stahelin 2014).
The region where the Ebola virus is prevalent stands to lose a lot socially because it is losing a huge number of people within a short time. Also, the families and communities that are affected loose valuable members of the society who could have benefited not only their families but also the wider societies. One should also not ignore the impact the disease will have at the family level, especially in cases where families lose several of their members (Kerridge & Gilbert 2014). A lot of children may remain orphaned an increase in the number of widows and widowers. The affected families bear the brunt and pain of losing several members over a short period of time. It should be remembered that highly cultured societies such as those in Africa carryout several rituals of the dead and this limits them from doing them. They believe that that is not a good sign because they do not give their loved ones a befitting sendoff if they are not allowed close contact with the corpses.
The affected regions, as well as the entire world, stand to lose a lot economically. First of all, at the family level there is economic loss because they lose valuable members who provide for the family (Bausch & Schuarz 2014). Taking into consideration that medical practitioners handle those infected, they contract the virus and end up dying themselves. Most African states rely on tourism for economic growth, and when western countries advice their citizens from visiting Africa, it is evident that these countries stand to lose on income. The affected countries are sources of natural resources that are shipped to countries in the West and the Far East. The spread of the virus curtails economic activities that benefit the affected countries as well as far away countries economically and both stands to lose on the benefits they both enjoy.
The immediate society of was Africa and Africa at large as well as the entire globe remains affected by Ebola. For instance in the United States, there have been mixed views arising from different quarters about how people arriving from Africa should be handled and treated. Donald Trump said that all those who get infected with the virus should not be allowed back home but rather, be banished and be left to die outside of the US. The immigration policies may end up being overhauled because the United States may not want to stand the risk of receiving immigrants from the affected countries (Farrar & Piot 2014). If that happens, then this will have a huge impact of persons in and out of the US, including its citizens.
In the middle of all the hullabaloo and confusion, trust between the citizenry and the governments is going down the trail. Citizens expect the central governments of the affected countries to move in fast and intervene. The governments are held between a rock and a hard place because they cannot contain a disease that is killing their people in numbers. Even the developed world, with their technological advancements, cannot help because there is no known cure (Soni & Stahelin 2014). At the moment, Africa is in a terrifying medical crisis, and it is the citizenry that is paying the price. The disease struck at the most unexpected time, and the governments were not ready to deal with disaster of such magnitude. The effects of the aftermath of the crisis are not only felt in Sierra Leone and Liberia but the entire world. The citizens are in distress for fear of dying themselves, and they think their governments are not doing enough.
The effects of Ebola outbreak are yet to be felt, when Africa will be declared a no- go zone and when there will be no free movement of both goods and services across the world. If the situation gets worse than it is at the moment, then there is a disaster in waiting. Investors will flee the affected nations, and the nations will be left devastated. What this means is that there will be very serious consequences on the economy, poverty levels will sky- rocket in return. There is more than meets the eye, and billions of dollars are yet to be spent on a disease that threatens to eradicate the whole universe.
Bausch, D. G. & Schwarz, L. (2014). Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea: Where Ecology Meets Economy. Journal of Neglected Diseases. OI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003056
Farrar, J. J. & Piot, P. (2014). The Ebola Emergency- Immediate Action, Ongoing Strategy. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2014; 371:1545-1546
Jamieson, Denise J., Uyeki, Timothy M., Callaghan, William, Meaney-Delman, Dana, & Rasmussen, Sonja. What Obstetrician–Gynecologists Should Know About Ebola: A Perspective From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. November 2014 - Volume 124 - Issue 5 pp: 867-1065
Kerridge, I. & Gilbert, L. (2014). Epidemic Ethics: Four Lessons from the Current Ebola Outbreak. Sidney: The Conversation. Print
Soni, S. P. & Stahelin, R. V. (2014). The Ebola Matrix Protein VP40 Selectively induces Vescukation from Phosphatidylserine- Enriched Membranes. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. October 2014- pp. 1- 20.