America’s Next Top Epidemic? Could Ebola be worse than we thought?

Written by: Aymen Sherwani – Grade 10

As of 2014, Ebola has earned the title of the largest outbreak in history, responsible for the deaths of over4900 individuals in this year alone.Dr. Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director-General at WHO, says that “West Africa may see up to 10, 000 new Ebola cases within the next two months” if efforts for disease prevention are not amped.  World Health Organization officials predict the death toll to increase by 1.4 million when January arrives. As shown on the statistical graph provided, Ebola has taken about 4000 in Liberia alone! Looks like this worldwide obesity epidemic might start to have some competition…

o-EBOLA-VIRUS-facebook

During times like these, many people ask questions like “Will this be like the Black Death epidemic?”When the Black Death struck in Europe, people didn’t even know what germs were, let alone take baths, seriously people, get over yourselves.

“Ebola can’t be that big of a threat, it’s just like the swine flu…” as many people often say. Personally, I agree 100%! I mean, if everyone ignores the fact that if you catch Ebola, you continuously bleed from your eyes, nose and ears until eventual death, it’s probably no big deal, right?  Some individuals with firsthand experience in relations to the disease might disagree.

Gloria Tumwijuke, a Ugandan survivor from the 2012 Ebola outbreak, states that, “In my head I was like, ‘I’m going to die.’ I just thought I would I. I couldn’t talk and I was worried about the people who touched me before they knew I had the virus. I cannot believe I am alive.”

In an interview with the press, Gloria speaks about how she contracted Ebola from the patient she was treating. “The pregnant mother was gushing blood from her eyes, nose and mouth. They carried her into the hospital on a mattress covered in blood, in attempt to save her. Her baby was already dead.”

Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and extreme headaches, which makes me wonder. Is this a virus or a Justin Bieber album?

This year, the virus has spread to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. This being said, along with the fact that almost 9,000 individuals have been diagnosed with Ebola, it’s right to assume that this virus is the most threatening and rapid epidemic we’ve ever faced.

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( Y axis represents number of deaths due to Ebola, x = date, color of lines are nations)

References:

http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/1.622666 (update)

http://globalnews.ca/news/1577458/us-warns-that-ebola-could-infect-1-4-million/ (death toll)

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/10000-ebola-cases-week-26179330 (WHO quoted)

http://www.vox.com/2014/8/12/5992083/the-story-of-an-ebola-outbreak-survivor (Gloria’s interview)

http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2014/10/how-many-ebola-cases-are-there-really (stat graph)

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ebola-virus/basics/symptoms/con-20031241 (symptoms)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/19/ebola-sacramento-california_n_5693364.htm (Ebola under microscope)

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