An ongoing outbreak of the Ebola virus is presenting a challenge to the three countries involved, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The governments are working with the World Health Organization and other partners in an effort to help control the outbreak.
According to the WHO, there have been more 600 cases of the disease and 390 deaths in the three affected countries since March 2014. One of the most challenging components of the outbreak is that the disease is being transmitted in cities and rural areas, in communities and health-care settings.
The deadly disease, which can cause significant hemorrhaging, kills as many as 90 percent of infected individuals. The disease spreads through contact with body fluids, including blood, of infected animals or humans.
The WHO and the Global Alert and Response Network (GOARN), along with its partners, continue to provide guidance and support, sending teams of experts to West African countries along with the WHO’s African Regional Office in Brazzaville, Congo. The experts include epidemiologists, laboratory experts, clinical management experts, logisticians, and social mobilization and risk communications teams.
According to the National Institutes of Health, early symptoms of the disease may include fatigue, fever, headache, malaise, backache, and chills. As the disease progresses, individuals may experience bleeding from the eyes, ears, and nose, gastrointestinal bleeding, eye swelling, and an increased sensation of pain in the skin.