EMERGING INFECTIONS 5
Emerginginfections are those which have appeared in the population for thefirst time or may have been in existence for the last few years butcurrently experiencing a rapid increase in incidence and geographicrange. have become a global concern because ofthe current increase in their numbers. This paper discusses the Ebolaas an emerging infection through an elaboration of its outbreak andhow health care triage is ever changed.
Ebolais a severe disease mostly resulting in fatalities in humans. Itsoutbreak in 2014 was the first and largest case in West Africa(Edelman, Mandle & Kudzma, 2014). Ebola is considered an emerginginfection, with the first case being reported in 1976 in theDemocratic Republic of Congo. Since then, various cases have beenreported in various regions in the last thirty years with 2014experiencing large and rapid spread of the virus. In 2015, theoutbreak still continues.
Thefirst case of Ebola occurred in Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976.It resulted in twin outbreak affecting Democratic Republic of Congoand Sudan. Close to 600 people were infected with an 88 percent and53 perfect mortality in the countries respectively (Timothy, 2014).Over the years, smaller and sporadic outbreaks have also beenreported in Uganda and Gabon. In 1989, an Ebola virus was identifiedin monkeys in the United States with an infection of four peoplebeing reported although they never became ill (McNeil, 2014). A largeand rapid spread of Ebola outbreak occurred in West Africa for thevery first time in history. Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal managed tocontain the outbreak, but the infection became widespread in Guinea,Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Over 20,000 infections were reported withclose to 8000 deaths during the period (Edelman, Mandle & Kudzma,2014). West African countries remain hardly hit by the outbreak.
Healthpromotion and prevention efforts
Ithas been a great challenge addressing the outbreak of Ebolaespecially due to lack of critical and basic medical supplies.Underreporting of cases has also been a challenge and should beaddressed (McNeil, 2015). However, tremendous efforts on healthpromotion and prevention of the spread of Ebola are evident. Workershave been trained on how best to handle victims and avoid beinginfected. For the outbreak to be contained there is a need to isolatethe infected persons as well as tracing and monitoring of theircontacts to stop further spread. Holding public forums to educate thepublic on how to handle victims would be of great help in combatingeffects of the virus. Experimental vaccines and drugs have beendeveloped and should be tested.
Edelman,C., Mandle, C., & Kudzma, E. (2014). Healthpromotion throughout the life span.8thEd. Maryland Heights, Missouri: Mosby
McNeil,D. (2015). "Fewer Ebola Cases Go Unreported Than Thought, StudyFinds. NewYork Times,p. Single page.
Timothy,R. (2014). Insights into Ebola and Other Emerging and ReemergingInfectious Disease Risks. EnvironmentalHealth Insights. 8,39-41