Do You Speak Ebola?

Ebola Casualties

Ebola Casualties

Has it not been for its deadly strike, one would think that Ebola is a cool new language; well, it’s not. Ebola is a “virus which causes horrendous damage, as it attacks the internal organs, resulting in extensive bleeding, vomiting, and diarrhea.” according to The Independent, a UK publication. It’s a very serious illness that has already taken thousands of lives in the African continent and has made its way to others (Europe, America) through human agents that carry the virus. Much like any outbreak, Ebola has scared the bejesus out of everyone, especially those whose primary jobs (nurses, doctors, nurses’ aides, etc.) are to attend to the patients infected with the deadly virus.

While the medical community and the officials in Washington including the President have done their best to re-assure the public that one cannot be infected unless there is direct contact and exchange of fluid with the infected individual, the mystery surrounding those who tested positive despite having taken all precautions, followed strict guidelines and procedures and adopted Center for Disease Control (CDC) protocols leaves one to question the procedures and protocols effectiveness as well as how the virus gets actually transmitted.

The incubation period watch (21 days) to determine whether someone, previously exposed and in contact with the infected subject, has contracted the virus also proves inconclusive; case in point, Louise Troh, Eric Duncan’s fiancée (the first US diagnosed Ebola patient who lost his life to the virus on October 8, 2014) and other people close to him – no doubt had had close and direct contact with him – was cleared of any infection; they do not have the virus.

So, how does the virus get actually transmitted? Without adding to the panic and the scare most have had since the Ebola outbreak, it seems at best there is a lack of understanding within the scientific community in regards to the Ebola virus; thus the measures and protocols used in the Ebola situation are similar to those taken for other deadly viruses (nothing wrong with that) but with no guarantee one would be spared of infection. The good news is, scientists believe the virus would run its course without decimating a whole population; the reason is mostly because of its quick and lethal punch; ironic, isn’t it? As it stands today, a lot is yet to be known about the virus; how does it really get transmitted? Can cured individuals be relapsed? Can the virus go through mutation? Where does it come from? As you might suspect, no one knows for sure.

However, Peter Piot, a lab researcher in Antwerp, Belgium believed that he discovered Ebola in 1976; it may have originated in Zaire, a country previously named Republic of Congo. In an interview accorded to the Guardian in October 4, 2014, Peter revealed to be the one who attributed the name Ebola to the virus; he even suggested that he was infected, with all the known symptoms (fever, vomiting, diarrhea) but recovered the very next day. See! Miracles do happen. For a comprehensive understanding of the Ebola virus, I encourage reading of the interview Mr. Piot accorded The Guardian. You should become fluent in Ebola if just for the sake of protecting yourself from its lethal strike.

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