Ebola – the new danger from West Africa

Since a few months there is one topic, that is permanently in the news. The “new” disease (new in this context means it was discovered in the 1970’s) raging in Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone called Ebola.

First we have to distinguish between the Ebola-virus and the Ebola-disease. The Ebola-disease is a deadly fever-disease caused by the Ebola-virus with symptoms like fever, vomiting, muscle pain and diarrhea. The Ebola-virus itself is 800 nm long and one of the five viruses of the Group V.
The Ebola-disease:

There are over 15.000 infected people in the world, but over 99% of them live in west Africa, namely in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. Almost 5.500 of them died due to the symptoms. A big problem in these areas are the bad hygienical conditions and the lack of good care for the ill people. These problems are mainly caused by the fact that the named countries are some of the poorest countries in the world, so they just can not afford professional care on their own and are dependent on support from other countries. But there are also 4 infected people in the USA, so the virus slowly spreads into the first world, but by now there are no recorded cases of Ebola in Europe.

World Map

The Ebola-Virus:

The Ebola-Virus is a virus from the tropical rainforests in central Africa. It spreads through direct body contact, humor and transplanted organs. It can not only spread from human to human, but also from animal to human (e.g. from monkeys) and it also infects monkeys like chimpanzees. The virus causes the deadly Ebola-disease. There are no working and proven vaccines yet, but there are many scientists doing research on it right now, because of course they want to stop the virus from spreading more than it is already. They want to stop a big epidemic before it even starts properly.


Comments (23)

  1. Duncan Shelwell

    Interesting article. I live in South Africa, a country with zero cases of Ebola & 5000kms from the nearest infected country, yet Europeans & Americans are now afraid to visit…why?!

    1. Courtney

      I agree completely, why should they be afraid to visit? Africa is a huge continent… South Africa is rather far from west Africa which holds 99% of Ebola cases!It is practically the opposite side to the west… Before generalizing Africa, they should consider our distance from affected countries and provinces.

    2. senalia(south Africa)

      Interesting article, very informative
      West Africa is an undeveloped area and therefore they have poor medical facilities.I also think that people who are afraid of visiting Africa needs to be more educated about the virus and how it is spread

  2. Ntebo Moleko

    This is a very interesting article but another problem with the people that are affected with Ebola in the poorer countries is that most of them hide they family members that are affected by the virus because of the bad stigma that comes with the virus from people around the village and also do not want to give their family members Ebola because they feel as if they are giving them away and forsaking them in they time of need because they know its very unlike that they will ever see them again

  3. Gemma

    A very interesting article

  4. Jessica Nossiter

    I agree.People are now afraid to visit because they scared they going to contract the disease. What they do not understand is that South Africa has not yet caught the virus, so there is no reason not to come on holiday to South Africa.

  5. Kiara and Arisha (Durban, South Africa)

    Good post, very informative and it is true that these people from poor countries cannot afford proper medical care but it is also the professionals who make silly mistakes and cause the spreading of Ebola to become more rapid

  6. Hawaa

    This article was very informative about Ebola. I am also a South African and its worrying to read how fast Ebola is spreading to other countries in Europe and America.

  7. courtney pendy

    Very interesting article. I am glad that many countries are raising awareness of this disease/virus.It is interesting to know that tourists are putting their holidays on hold because of ‘Ebola’ cases in west Africa.Tourism is a major source of revenue for many African countries, especially South Africa.So I just hope that they can find a solution to the problem.

  8. Yolanda Mathunjwa

    Great Article, this has been a growing subject for the past couple of months and it honestly looks like it is heading our way(South Africa).
    But in my own opinion the Ebola Virus is only really bad in these countries is because the virus has mostly spread through the poorer countries, and they don’t have the right equipment or facilities to treat this disease.

  9. kirsten

    very interesting article .

  10. saphire west

    Splendid .

  11. Jordan

    This is a very interesting and informative article.I myself live in Africa – South Africa, Durban – where there are not cases of Ebola but this article provides great awareness for the virus.

  12. Sanisha Naidoo

    This is a very interesting article about the Ebola disease and we gain knowledge on what it is .I hope to read more of your articles.

  13. Meghan S (South Africa)

    Very informative article. The Ebola Virus is a widely spoken topic. I think the poorer countries need to be told how to prevent this virus, however most of the people are not educated enough to understand.

  14. Neioka

    This is a very interesting and well written post.
    I completely agree with the others that have commented, I am from South Africa and I find it both unfair and sad that people have ruled out South Africa as a holiday destination when they have been no reported cases of the virus or the disease.
    I really hope a cure for Ebola is found soon, so people can stop suffering and countries can start developing again.

  15. Nirvana H (South Africa)

    The Ebola virus is a very frightening thing, people need to be educated about this subject matter to be able to avoid it. I think it is more common in poorer countries because of the lack of information and education.

  16. Maseeha Ismail

    A very informative article as people world wide need to gain knowledege about this disease.

  17. Siphumelele Nkosi

    wonderful story, very informative and its an eye opener since our country is in Africa(South Africa). I believe the worst part of this tragedy is the fact that when people have been infected with the virus they tend to hide it from the public because they believe they will be excluded from society but as a matter of fact; they are infected more and more people and that’s the reason why the numbers keep increasing. thank you for a wonderful story.

  18. Maseeha Ismail

    this is a very informative article as this is a world wide issue and we need to gain knowledge on it.

  19. vidya

    Very interesting and informative article.This is frightening and I think more people should be educated about this disease.

  20. Derina

    Great job! Ebola is a serious disease that many people need to be informed about.

  21. Emily Cumming

    Ebola is a hot topic at the moment and one that can open up a lot of discussion. I found this a very informative article as even though I live in South Africa which is very close to where there are Ebola outbreaks, I did not know the details of this virus.


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