Ebola Crisis: Will it Keep Spreading?

A Liberian doctor has died and two Americans have become infected in West Africa's Ebola epidemic, which has now spread to the region's most populous city, Lagos, Nigeria.
The Ebola scare!:How real?

Following the events of the past week , the news of the deadly Ebola virus disease has taken over discussions among health experts all over the world. The question in the minds of most people is:

"Whether the virus will indeed keep spreading,and how far it could,if it did"?

Until now, the virus, which kills up to 90 percent of those who fall ill, had struck mainly in small, rural villages in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. But this outbreak has covered a much broader area—and has killed more than 670 people since late last year. 

What are the chances of of the virus spreading?

Public health experts say they expect the virus to reach other parts of the world, including the United States, though it is widely believed that it's unlikely to spread widely in regions with well-funded hospitals and standard infection-control procedures.

How true is this?

WHAT WE KNOW

Ebola outbreaks grow

The deadly Ebola virus has been leaving its mark on Africa since the first outbreak in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since the World Health Organization began reporting Ebola cases in March 2014, 1,201 cases and 672 deaths have been recorded in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. A recent case of Ebola virus was detected in Nigeria from a traveler.

Map of Ebola virus.

NOTE: SUSPECTED, PROBABLE, AND CONFIRMED CASES AND DEATHS AS OF JULY 23, 2014
MAGGIE SMITH, NG STAFF; JOEY FENING. SOURCE: WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION 



How contagious is Ebola?
This is not a highly transmissible disease, where the number of people who can be infected by a single individual is high. You have to come into very close contact with blood, organs, or bodily fluids of infected animals, including people. 
What is the way forward?
There is no doubt that we are dealing with a truly lethal infective disease (90% fatality rate), with no available treatment as we speak. The responsibility we have and owe to ourselves is to properly educate the populace on preventive measures, ensure a healthy practice (use of gowns, gloves, and other personal protective equipment amongst all health workers, isolate those who are potentially infected or exposed , ensure dequate screening and surveillance measures at borders and raising the immigration bar for travelers from countries with confimed outbreaks. Hopefully, with this, we should have it under control.

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