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Omon Okor

I lived in Nigeria for my entire childhood. When I came to the United States, my eyes were opened as to how unaware other countries were to the overwhelming economic and cultural challenges of Africa.  It was then I knew I was meant to dedicate my life to bringing a voice to those still in the shadows and to enlighten those totally unaware of the atrocities women and children in Africa endure.

First Ebola Case in Mali Confirmed

Ebola-mali

How Ebola Survivors’ Blood is Saving Lives

The Mali government has confirmed the first case of Ebola in the country. It said a two-year-old girl had tested positive for the haemorrhagic virus. She recently returned from the neighboring Guinea. More than 4,800 people have died of Ebola - mainly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone - since March.

Meanwhile, an international team of scientists has been set up to determine the effectiveness of using the blood of Ebola survivors as a treatment. It is hoped the antibodies used by the immune system to fight Ebola can be transferred from a survivor to a patient. The study will start in Guinea. Speaking on state television on Thursday, Malian Health Minister Ousmane Kone said the infected girl was being treated in the western town of Kayes. She was brought to a local hospital on Wednesday and her blood sample was Ebola-positive, Mr Kone said. The child and those who have come into contact with her have been put in quarantine.
The girl's mother died in Guinea a few weeks ago and the child was then brought by relatives to Mali, Reuters news agency quotes a health ministry official as saying. Mali is now the sixth West African country to be affected by the latest Ebola outbreak - however Senegal and Nigeria have since been declared virus-free by the WHO.

With porous borders, countries neighboring Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are on high alert for possible imported cases of the virus, says BBC regional correspondent Anne Soy. Separately, the World Health Organization (WHO) has already identified at least two experimental vaccines which it believes could be promising.

At a meeting in Geneva, the UN health body said it wanted tests of the vaccines to be completed by the end of December. The WHO says 443 health workers have contracted Ebola, of whom 244 have died.

How Ebola Spreads
How not to catch Ebola:
  • Avoid direct contact with sick patients as the virus is spread through contaminated body fluids
  • Wear protective cover for eyes
  • Clothing and clinical waste should be incinerated and any medical equipment that needs to be kept should be decontaminated
  • People who recover from Ebola should abstain from sex or use condoms for three months

Ebola Basics
  • How Ebola attacks
  • What virus has hit - in maps
  • Uncertainty over figure line

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Symptoms
  • Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
  • Spread by body fluids, such as blood and saliva
  • Fatality rate can reach 90% - but current outbreak has mortality rate of about 70%
  • Incubation period is two to 21 days
  • There is no proven vaccine or cure
  • Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery
  • Fruit bats, a delicacy for some West Africans, are considered to be virus's natural host
Author
Omon Okor

I lived in Nigeria for my entire childhood. When I came to the United States, my eyes were opened as to how unaware other countries were to the overwhelming economic and cultural challenges of Africa.  It was then I knew I was meant to dedicate my life to bringing a voice to those still in the shadows and to enlighten those totally unaware of the atrocities women and children in Africa endure.



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