Ebola — a threat to global health security.

In March 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the West African country of Guinea. Additional cases have since been reported in the countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as Nigeria and Senegal. The cases reported in Nigeria and Senegal are considered to be contained, with no further spread in these countries, but new cases continue to be reported. Ebola, if not controlled adequately and immediately, could spread far and wide. Containing Ebola — a necessity to stop transmission.

WHO was founded in 1948 and tasked with collecting data, setting international health policies and standards and responding when it sees trouble. and for decades the organization did just that, including responding to past brushes with  Ebola in Africa. The emergency UN session on Ebola reflected the deep concern about an outbreak. By then, Ebola had been spreading  and had already killed dozens of people. The Ebola crisis right now is one of the clearest illustrations that [of] the link between the conditions on the ground — the lack of public health resources and infrastructure — and the importance of addressing that as a threat to global health security.

Ebola is by no means the only infectious disease that has the ability to spread on a mass scale, nor is it the only one for which we don´t have an approved drug or vaccine. Globalization has allowed microbes and diseases to spread more easily and more quickly than they have in the past. Ebola is only the latest — if the most severe — global health threat that the world has faced in recent years. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), for instance, first recognized in February 2003, infected fewer than 10,000 people but set off a global panic before disappearing in 2004.

The H1N1 swine flu virus caused a pandemic in 2009, spreading to over 200 countries and killing more than 18,000 people. Other diseases, such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, have since emerged. And there is concern about the rise of vaccine failure, growing threat of antibiotic resistance as well as bioterrorism.

As new research argued Ebola has a genetic spine that is made up of RNA. Human genomes are built on DNA, so once Ebola infects a human cell, the virus has to translate its genes into DNA language so that it can insinuate itself into the human body and continue to replicate. A number of humans appear to be resistant to the virus.

Research in Science highlight a genetic influence pretty definitivel. After 21 days, if an exposed person does not develop symptoms, they will not become sick with Ebola. “Genetics appears to play a significant role in determining disease outcome when it comes to Ebola, say researchers studying the disease in mice. Collaborative Cross mice could provide a useful tool for screening candidate therapeutics and vaccines to help combat Ebola virus in the future, according to the researchers. More people have died in the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa than in all previous Ebola outbreaks combined since the virus was first discovered in 1976.

A total of 9936 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported in five affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Spain, and the United States of America) and two previously affected countries (Nigeria and Senegal) up to the end of 19 October. A total of 4877 deaths have been reported.

To date, there have been more than 9,936 reported Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases in five affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Spain, and the United States of America) and two previously affected countries (Nigeria and Senegal) up to the end of 19 October. A total of 4877 deaths have been reported.

Past Ebola outbreaks have been contained because it was possible to identify and segregate infected individuals, then trace and track anyone with whom they may have come in contact. That has not happened in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. For this WHO is to blame, that´s because responding when it sees trouble is WHO´s  very purpose to prevent catastrophes like this from happening. Since the Ebola outbreak containing Ebola — a necessity to stop transmission — has proven exceptionally difficult.

Under the organizations´s decentralized structure, WHO regional offices seem to have great autonomy. “In same cases the regional offices have ignored policies from Geneva and openly contested headquarters budgets. In large regional directors have virtually unchecked authority in their domains, and while some are very effective, others can do more harm than good in a crisis, say WHO´s director-general, Margaret Chan.

The consequences of that loose chain of command became apparent when WHO officials in Conakry were apparently slow in telling Geneva how serious the Ebola outbreak was. Even the funding for WHO´s most crucial work, like tackling emerging epidemics, depends largely on donors´generosity.

The global community is now responding with the urgency and the scale needed to begin to turn back this unprecedented Ebola crisis. The international aid agency and rich donors like the U.S and the European Union has been at the forefront in tackling the outbreak in West Africa, where 13 of its staff have died of the disease since March, but nobody is on the top of the epidemic.

Countries in West Africa, especially the Liberia and Sierra Leone need lots of funds to combat and arrest the spread of Ebola. The contrast between medical resources is just as sharp. In 2012, the United States spent $8,895 per capita on health, according to the World Bank. Civil-war-ravaged Liberia spent $65. Early detection is a crucial factor — and often lacking in Africa.

Recent pledges of manpower and money from the U.S. government, the UN, the EU and others will help, but some experts on the ground– like the Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontiéres MSF, medical NGOs that have been at the forefront of the Ebola fight in West Africa are still wondering why it´s taken so long. These scientists, medics, engineers and aid workers are already having an impact on the ground.

The Ebola crisis in West Africa has quickly grown into the most difficult health security problem faced by the modern world, but it is also providing opportunities to better prepare nations for future health emergencies. Ultimately, leaders at WHO and the governments and institutions that fund it will have to wrestle with the challenge of better controlling future epidemics. And if early testing goes well, more advanced trials of the potential Ebola vaccines could take place in the West African countries hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak as soon as december.

The outbreak can seem a distant problem for many and compared with the hundreds of thousands of people who die from HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis in the developing world each year, Ebola´s toll so far is small. But it´s what could happen next that has public health advocates and government officials around the world so scared.

Following alarming evidence of the spread of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the World Bank Group  announced september 25 that it will nearly double its financing to $400 million to help the worst-affected countries address the emergency and build stronger health systems for the years ahead.

Linking Peace Efforts with Economic Progress The European Union also announced that it would support the countries in the region with a total of around $3.7 billion until 2020, of which about 10 percent would be for cross-border activities.


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