Ebola outbreak in West Africa


January 26, 2022

The West African Ebola virus outbreak (2013-2016) was the most widespread Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic in history - causing great loss of life and socio-economic disruption in the region, particularly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The first cases were reported in Guinea in December 2013. Later, the disease spread to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone, with small outbreaks occurring elsewhere. It caused significant mortality, with an initially considerable reported mortality rate, while the rate among hospitalized patients was 57 to 59%, the final figure being 28,616 people, including 11,310 deaths, for a case fatality rate of 40%. Small outbreaks have occurred in Nigeria and Mali, and isolated cases have been reported in Senegal, the United Kingdom and Italy. In addition, imported cases led to secondary infection of medical workers in the United States and Spain, but did not spread further. The number of cases peaked in October 2014 and began to decline gradually, following the commitment of substantial international resources. As of 8 May 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the respective governments have reported a total of 28,646 suspected cases and 11,323 deaths (39.5%), although the WHO believes this substantially underestimates the magnitude of the outbreak. .On August 8, 2014, an international public health emergency was declared and on March 29, 2016, WHO ended the outbreak's international public health emergency status. Subsequent crises occurred. The last one was declared closed on June 9, 2016, 42 days after the last case was negative on April 28, 2016 in Monrovia. post-Ebola, often severe enough to require medical care for months or even years. An additional cause for concern is the virus's apparent ability to "hide" in the body of a recovered survivor for an extended period of time and then become active months or years later, in the same individual or a sexual partner. In December 2016, the WHO announced that a two-year trial of the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine appeared to offer protection against the EBOV variant responsible for the West African outbreak. The vaccine is considered effective and is the only prophylactic that offers protection; therefore, 300,000 doses were stored. rVSV-ZEBOV received regulatory approval in 2019.


Ebola virus disease (commonly known as "Ebola") was first described in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo and what is now South Sudan. The 2013–2016 outbreak, caused by the Ebola virus (EBOV), was the first anywhere in the world to reach epidemic proportions. Previous outbreaks were controlled in a much shorter period of time. Extreme poverty, dysfunctional health systems, distrust of the government after years of armed conflict, and a delay in responding for several months contributed to the failure to control the epidemic. Other factors, according to media reports, included local funeral customs of body washing and the unprecedented spread of Ebola to densely populated cities. As the outbreak progressed, media reports, many hospitals, short of staff and supplies, were overwhelmed and shut down, leading some health experts to claim that the inability to treat other medical needs may be causing "an additional number of deaths [which will likely exceed the outbreak itself". Hospital staff, who worked closely with the victims' highly contagious bodily fluids, were especially vulnerable to contracting the virus; in August 2014, OM

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