Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is a disease of humans and other primates caused by the Ebola virus. Symptoms start two days to three weeks after contracting the virus, with a fever, sore throat, muscle pain, and headaches. Typically nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea follow, along with decreased functioning of the liver and kidneys. Around this time, some people may begin to bleed either within the body or externally. The risk of death among those infected is high.
While the Ebola epidemic rages on throughout Western Africa, far beyond the borders of Guinea, the country in which it first began. The outbreak began in Guinea in December 2013 but was not detected until March 2014, after which it spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.
As of 11 August 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a total to date of 1,975 suspected cases and 1,069 deaths (1,251 cases and 686 deaths being laboratory confirmed).
1,975 Cases / 1,069 Deaths (as of 11 August 2014)
- Guinea: 510 / 377
- Liberia: 670 / 355
- Nigeria: 12 / 3
- Sierra Leone: 783 / 334
There have been two confirmed and six other suspect cases in Nigeria as of 5 August 2014. The first one was an imported case of a Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, who traveled by air from Liberia and became violently ill upon arriving in the city of Lagos. On 20 July, Sawyer flew into Nigeria via Lomé and Accra from Liberia, and he died five days later in Lagos. In response, Nigeria’s Lagos state government has launched a response website in furtherance of the fight against ebola, providing information on the disease via the www.lagosebolaresponse.org website.
The website was launched by the state’s Ministry of Health and provides information such as what to do faced with a suspected ebola case, as well as a fact sheet on the viral disease. Information from the website can be downloaded in PDF format.
The ebola response website features a blog page attempting to debunk rumours about the disease including the one that was widely circulated on social media that drinking and bathing with salt and water could prevent the disease.
The Lagos Ministry of Health has also launched a toll-free ebola helpline which can be reached by dialling 0800 EBOLA HELP (0800 326524357).
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