Ebola Pandemic - West Africa

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jun 10, 2022, 12:25

The Ebola virus causes a serious disease in humans that can be fatal if left untreated. It is a virus transmitted from wild animals to human beings and spreads from one patient to another through contact. The Ebola virus disease was first seen in 1976 in two outbreaks in the Republic of Congo and Sudan.

The Ebola Pandemic is the latest outbreak of the disease that started in 2014 in West Africa and lasted for about two years recording more than 11000 total deaths. It was the most devastating of Ebola outbreaks since it first appeared.

There are various reasons why this virus is so deadly, most importantly, the virus affects every organ of the body, resulting in a high mortality rate.

Ebola Pandemic Features

EVD or Ebola Virus Disease affects humans with symptoms like sore throat, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, muscular pain, and other troubles. The fatal rate for the disease is 25-90%.

Death results from dropped blood pressure due to loss of fluid in about 6-16 days of the onset of symptoms. People can die from organ failure as well.

There is no treatment for the disease and infected people are isolated to prevent the spread. Close contact with the infected person can spread the virus.

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The Ebola Pandemic History

The first-ever case of the Ebola Pandemic is known to have been reported in a village in Guinea in 2013. The patient was a 1-year-old boy.

It was suspected that bats were responsible for the spread of the virus. Guinea had reported almost 60 deaths from Ebola by March 2014 and there were 186 deaths and 280 cases by May.

The disease had hit Liberia by April and then progressed to Sierra Leone. It was rapidly spreading in the areas, affecting some people in Mali and Nigeria as well.

Some countries like Senegal, the UK, the US, and Spain also reported some cases from travellers. However, the most affected countries were Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

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Overall Cases & Fatalities during Ebola Pandemic

These countries together reported over 25000 cases and more than 10000 fatalities by March 2015. The World Health Organisation announced the disease as a pandemic in October 2014 in Senegal and Nigeria.

Sierra Leone was declared Ebola-free by November 2015 and Guinea was declared so in December. Liberia was the worst affected by the pandemic with more than 4800 reported deaths and was announced to be Ebola-free by the WHO in January 2016.

The World Health Organisation has also declared the end of the deadliest Ebola outbreak after new cases seized to be reported in Liberia.

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FAQs on Ebola Pandemic

Q.1 When was the Ebola outbreak declared a pandemic?

Ebola was announced to be a pandemic by the WHO on 23rd March 2014 after about 50 confirmed cases and 30 deaths.

Q.2 Which nations were affected by the Ebola Pandemic?

The Ebola Pandemic struck West Africa and affected several countries including the UK, USA, Nigeria, Spain, Italy, and Mali.

Q.3 Does Ebola Disease have a vaccine?

Ebola has no effective treatment available which caused Ebola Pandemic in west Africa. A vaccine was developed in 2016 to offer 70 to 100 per cent prevention against the disease. It was named the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine.

Q.5 With regard to the Ebola Pandemic, what is a zoonotic disease?

A disease that transmits from animals to humans is called a zoonotic disease. Some examples of such diseases include Rabies, Plague, Coronavirus, Chikungunya, and Ebola Pandemic.