Sierra Leone Renews Ebola Alert

Published Date : Apr 08, 2016

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ebola virus disease, earlier known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe disease that can lead to death. The virus was first discovered in 1976. It is usually transmitted from wild animals and spreads through human population through human-to-human transmission. The average fatality rate of the disease is about as high as 50%. The first virus outbreak occurred across the remote villages in Central Africa that were in close proximity of tropical rainforests. However, the recent outbreak in West Africa in March 2014 included major urban and rural areas. 

The Ebola virus disease is difficult to distinguish from other infectious diseases such as typhoid fever, malaria, and meningitis. The disease is usually diagnosed after performing various tests such as antigen-capture detection tests, ELISA, serum neutralization test, virus isolation by cell culture, RT-PCR assay, and electron microscopy. Preventive measures include reducing the risk of wildlife-to-human transmission, human-to-human transmission, and possible sexual transmission. Presently, there are no licensed Ebola vaccines. However, potential candidates are undergoing evaluation.

WHO Confirms New Ebola Case in Liberia

This week, Sierra Leone has asked for increased vigilance to prevent an outbreak of Ebola virus after new cases have been reported across Guinea and Liberia. However, the country has cautioned against shutting off borders the West African nations. This new alert has come after the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed a case in Liberia and some new cases in Guinea. Liberia was termed as Ebola-free a few months ago. In March, a woman died of Ebola in Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia, after a visit from Guinea. In Guinea, a fresh outbreak of the disease has led to the death of eight out of nine reported cases. However, the Liberian health ministry is not in the favour of closing borders between the three countries.