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Ebola

As a viral disease, Ebola is investigated by many scientists and researchers who have conducted plenty of studies and examinations related to this problem. Such scientists as Carry Jo Cain and Rosie Burton have also studied the spread of Ebola disease and its results. According to their works, the results of Ebola have become natural hazards since February 2014. They also call Ebola Green monkey fever (Harper). Nobody knows the origin of the virus but fruit bats are considered a natural reservoir for this disease. The virus is transmitted to people from the dead or alive wild animals and then, it can be spread further.

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People become infected through direct contact (blood, secretions, or other body fluids of a sick person) or from a dead person who has caught the virus from infected animals. It is obvious that the virus needs a thorough investigation and a special approach to the prevention and ways of treatment. This essay intends to show two particular cases of healthcare workers who deal with Ebola. Knowledge of the examples and look at the problem from the inside will help understand the virus better and find proper solutions for it.

Background

The Ebola virus was widely spread in different African countries. Just like any other disease, Ebola haemorrhagic fever has its own incubation period that lasts approximately from 2 to 21 days (Ebola Virus Disease). The virus does not hurt people until the symptoms begin to develop. The first symptoms are a headache and sore throat, muscle pain, and fever fatigue followed by rash, diarrhea, vomiting, and occasionally, by both internal and external bleeding.

The Ebola outbreak, as many other diseases, shows the crucial role of different environment conditions, within which they appear. Even one confirmed case of Ebola can be dangerous for the people living in the same place. The most important point is to prevent the direct contact with sick people or infected animals. Significant work has been done to reveal the causes of this disease by the people had who caught the virus or had close contacts with the sick people. The 2014 Ebola virus outbreak has affected many countries in West Africa, and it is still considered the largest outbreak in history (Definition of Ebola Virus).

In order to prevent people from being infected with Ebola, health care workers suggest following strictly such steps as wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), isolating infected patients with Ebola from others, and staying away from bodies of the people who have died from Ebola.

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Case 1

Carrie Jo Cain believes that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is frightening. Cain works at Childrens Hospital in St. Paul and she is aware of decontamination and sanitation. She also knows about the requirements for healthcare workers with infectious diseases. She grew up in Sierra Leone because her parents worked there as missioners. Sierra Leone is one of the countries seriously influenced by the Ebola outbreak. She said that she had received the invitation from God and she had to influence the situation somehow (Chin). Cain believes that she has the skills and she has the strong feeling of the importance of fulfilling this mission, which is the main reason of her arrival to Sierra Leone earlier (Chin).

Cain helped train the medical workers of a rural hospital that was about to deal with the impending wave of patients infected with Ebola (Chin). Being the mission hospital, the rural hospital lacked protective gear since the government had not provided it with. Therefore, Cains task was to get the medical staff to learn how to work with protective gear. Cain said that the biggest potential threat was to find out that the virus could spread very quickly (Chin). She managed to persuade the staff of the importance of using gloves every time as the protection from the infection. As Cain said, traditional health care systems weren’t equipped to treat survivors, who often endure joint pain, vision and hearing problems, as well as emotional problems (Ebola Nurse). The same situation was with emotional problems. In the interview to MPR News, Cain told the host that health care systems were not sure in their ability to know how to care about people and prevent the survivors from the further danger (Ebola Nurse). While teaching the hospital staff, Cain was rather strict and she taught them properly to do their job. She also took the active part in the burying of Ebola bodies since the process of burial of such bodies was different from the usual one (Chin). She said, In Sierra Leone, when someone dies, it is very important not to die alone (qtd in Chin). Dying alone was even worse than death itself (qtd in Chin).

There was the fear of epidemic among local people that the hospital had brought this virus. The news had reported death of more than 600 people of Ebola in the country (Chin). Cain believes that it will take some years for Sierra Leone to get rid of Ebola completely (Chin). Cain was astonished to learn about the first registered case of Ebola case in America, in Dallas and not in the city where many people from Sierra Leone and Liberia resided. Nevertheless, Cain was sure that the US health care system was prepared for an outbreak (Chin).

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Case 2

Rosie Burton is another scientist who has been investigating the Ebola virus for some time. She is a physician and infectious diseases specialist at Khayelitsha District Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. In her research, she described Ebola as the virus and lessons learned from it. According to her, Ebola ceased to be in the headlines of news agencies, but it was not over (Burton). Ebola was ignored when it appeared in poor African countries, and the World Health Organization declared a Global Health Emergency in August 2014 (Burton). In five months, only 49 cases of infections and 29 cases of death were recorded (Burton). However, it became real when the first cases of Ebola were registered in the USA and the European countries. There were hundreds of cases a week. Burton stated that it was dangerous to forget about Ebola or ignore it. She says, Deaths from non-Ebola causes are likely to outnumber significantly deaths from Ebola (Burton). There is also evidence that even if someone survives Ebola, the disease has lasting consequences. Moreover, viable virus seems capable of surviving in protected sites including aqueous humor, the testes and the fetoplacental unit (Burton). Burton also suggests that the treatment of Ebola or any other infectious disease is tightly linked to the conditions and context of its appearance. Therefore, the global response as well as the epidemic outcome is determined by various factors (Burton).

As many other diseases, the Ebola outbreak shows the crucial role of different environments, within which they appear. Many researches are conducted to reveal the causes of this disease. Having investigated scientific efforts of the research, one can draw the following conclusions. Firstly, all information must be made available, especially the one from the authorities of the countries affected by the outbreak. Not only does the lack of information increase the possibility of the viruss spread, but it also makes the population more vulnerable to this disease. Secondly, medical equipment and training the medical staff accordingly to this problem must be provided at appropriate level. As Carrie Jo Cain said, health care systems should be more equipped to treat people properly. Specialists should also work with the people who have caught the virus or had had close contacts with sick people.

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