History of the Ebola Outbreak
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated. Ebola virus disease (EVD) first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, one in Nzara, Sudan, and the other in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter occurred in a village near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.
The current outbreak in western Africa, (first cases notified in March 2014), is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976. There have been more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined. It has also spread between countries starting in Guinea then spreading across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia, by air (1 traveler only) to Nigeria, and by land (1 traveler) to Senegal.
The most severely affected countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have very weak health systems, lacking human and infrastructural resources, having only recently emerged from long periods of conflict and instability. On August 8, the WHO Director-General declared this outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
A separate, unrelated Ebola outbreak began in Boende, Equateur, an isolated part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The virus family Filoviridae includes 3 genera: Cuevavirus, Marburgvirus, and Ebolavirus.
There are 5 species that have been identified: Zaire, Bundibugyo, Sudan, Reston and Taï Forest. The first 3, Bundibugyo ebolavirus, Zaire ebolavirus, and Sudan ebolavirus have been associated with large outbreaks in Africa. The virus causing the 2014 West African outbreak belongs to the Zaire species.
EBOLA VIRUS SPREADS BEYOND WEST AFRICA
Thomas Eric Duncan of Monrovia, Liberia, is the first patient to be diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the USA. While visiting relatives, he developed symptoms and is being treated at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital in Dallas. Since December, there have been 7,492 cases and 3,439 deaths attributed to the Ebola virus in five countries in West Africa and the USA, according to the World Health Organization.
The CDC confirmed on September 30, 2014, the first laboratory-confirmed case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Dallas, Texas from West Africa. The patient did not have symptoms when leaving West Africa, but developed symptoms approximately four days after arriving in the United States.
The person sought medical care at Texas Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas after developing symptoms consistent with Ebola. Based on the person’s travel history and symptoms, CDC recommended testing for Ebola. The medical facility isolated the patient and sent specimens for testing at CDC and at a Texas laboratory. Local public health officials have identified all close contacts of the person for further daily monitoring for 21 days after exposure. He died of Ebola on October 8 and was cremated.
On October 10, a healthcare worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the index patient reported a low-grade fever and was referred for testing. The healthcare worker has tested positive for Ebola according to preliminary tests by the Texas Department of State Health Services’ laboratory. The healthcare worker was isolated after the initial report of a fever. CDC confirms that the healthcare worker is positive for Ebola.
CDC recognizes that any case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States raises concerns, and any death is too many. Medical and public health professionals across the country have been preparing to respond. CDC and public health officials in Texas are taking precautions to identify people who had close personal contact with the patient and health care professionals have been reminded to use meticulous infection control at all times.
Early detection can be accomplished by temperature monitoring. Our research shows that an infrared model is best to use. We did find one at an affordable price that should work fine for you. Purchase the Tempir Body Temperature Thermometer here.
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