History, facts, symptoms, and patients in the USA
Nick “Chico” Hernandez
The United States of America is now free of any known cases of Ebola, according to The Washington Post on Nov. 10; however, on Nov. 15, Martin Salia flew to Nebraska Medical Center sick with Ebola. Salia, a surgeon that contracted Ebola while in Sierra Leone, attempted to treat people. Salia spent about thirty-six hours in the hospital before he died.
Five cases of Ebola have been identified in the US as of Nov. 18.
Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient in the US to get diagnosed with Ebola, came to Texas from Liberia in order to visit family.
At the time, Liberia had one of the highest Ebola rates with more than 2,500 deaths. Now, the death toll is falling rapidly with “two-thirds of the 696 beds in the country’s treatment centres empty,” as written by the BBC.
Duncan was diagnosed on Sep. 30 and died of Ebola on Oct. 8 at Texas Health Presbyterian of Dallas. Following Duncan’s death (Oct. 10 and Oct. 15 respectively) two health care workers were stricken with Ebola, but have since made full recoveries, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Dr. Craig Spencer picked up Ebola while in West Africa and brought it with him to New York. He went to Bellevue Hospital Center for treatment on Oct. 23 and left Nov. 10, virus free.
Martian Salia and Thomas Eric Duncan are the only people in the US to have died of Ebola.
Ebola was first discovered in 1976 when two outbreaks occurred at the same time across Nzara, Sudan, and Yambuku in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“The current outbreak in West Africa is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976,” said the World Health Organization (WHO). Ebola earned its name from the Ebola River, which is found near Yambuku.
Emile Ouamouno, a two-year-old who used to live in Meliandou, (by Guinea’s borders with Liberia and Sierra Leone) was named Patient Zero by researchers from The New England Journal of Medicine, according to an article by CNN; no one is sure how Ouamouno caught Ebola.
The only way to contract Ebola is by coming into contact with an animal’s, or persons blood or other bodily fluids who is infected with the virus.
The Ebola virus is not an airborne disease.
Anyone that becomes sick with Ebola has a 50% chance of death, although it can sometimes vary from 25% to 90%, as said by WHO.
Early symptoms of Ebola infection, as listed by Mayo Clinic, are: fever, severe headache, joint and muscle aches, chills, and weakness. These symptoms usually begin five to ten days after being infected with Ebola.
The more severe symptoms include: nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, red eyes, raised rash, chest pains and cough, stomach pain, severe weight loss, bleeding, and internal bleeding.
The death toll for Ebola has broken 5,000, most of the deaths being in West Africa. The threat of Ebola appears to be gone in the US, but the CDC Director Thomas Frieden said the Ebola epidemic is “nowhere near over” in West Africa.