Ebola Outbreak Kills Nearly 5,000 in West Africa

US Says Ebola Outbreak Is A Global Threat

The ebola outbreak is definitely one of the shattering epidemics in human history as it continues to inflict casualties in human, economic, and social costs across West Africa.

The ebola epidemic has already resulted in nearly 14,000 ebola-infected persons and nearly 5,000 deaths.

In her testimony before The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations in Washington DC, Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom for Management and Resources said the outbreak of ebola has caused shattering effects in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.

Ebola cases were also cited in Senegal, Mali, and Nigeria as well. And some isolated cases are reported in the United States and Spain.

Scene from an ebola treatment facility run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Gueckedou, Guinea, on the day of a visit from Anthony Banbury, Special Representative of the SecretaryGeneral and Head of the UN Mission for ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). UN Photo

Ebola As A Global Threat

According to Ms. Higginbottom, the ebola epidemic has inflicted shattering human, economic, and social costs across affected countries in West Africa, and has stretched existing health systems to the breaking point.

She noted that beyond the epidemic’s immediate effects, fewer children are being vaccinated against other communicable diseases, an increasing number of people lack adequate food, and economies have been severely impacted.

The U.S. Government Response To The ebola Outbreak

According to Ms. Higginbottom, the United States has responded both at home and abroad in implementing a whole-of-government strategy to lead the global effort to halt the ebola epidemic.

State and USAID are working in tandem with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other supporting agencies to stop the spread of the virus and prevent further transmission into other countries.

“In short, the ebola epidemic is not only a health crisis – it is a global threat.” – Ms. Higginbottom

The US also understands that the effort to combat the epidemic needs international support. It is working hand in hand with nongovernmental organizations and with the support of the governments of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.

In addition, the US is working alongside the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and other countries such as the United Kingdom, France, and Canada, among others, to mobilize global response efforts to counter the epidemic.

Since the start of the outbreak, the United States Government has deployed over 36 USAID personnel, 163 Health and Human Services personnel, and more than 1,800 DoD personnel to West Africa, making this the largest-ever U.S. government response to a global health crisis.

The U.S. has taken a lead role in managing the global response in Liberia. It is also working with the UK and France as they assume larger roles in Sierra Leone and Guinea, respectively.

134 Nations Respond To The Call

With the ebola scare making headlines around the world and threatening the lives of many, more than 134 nations came together to pass a resolution pledging to tackle the deadly outbreak with urgency and vigor.

Nations around the world are responding to the ebola epidemic with brave efforts and aid.

Cuba for one has already sent 165 health professionals to the region and plans to send nearly 300 more. In addition, Timor-Leste pledged $2 million to the effort – what Prime Minister Gusmao called an act of “Fragile-to-Fragile” cooperation, from one conflict-affected country to others.

Also, 24 countries have pledged $1 million or more to the effort.

Ebola is a hemorrhagic fever with symptoms similar to that of extreme radiation exposure. Hemorrhagic refers to blood and a hemorrhagic disease is one which essentially breaks down the blood vessels and blood leaks into the body, lungs, and intestines.

According to the UN, ebola killed 2,300 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia out of 4,269 cases.

The countries bearing the brunt of the epidemic are among the world’s poorest. Liberia has been by far the hardest hit by the epidemic.

NewsBlaze investigative journalist, John McCormick has written a number of ebola-related stories, shown below in the yellow box.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.