Blog #8: Ebola in Graphics: The toll of a Tragedy
In West Africa, the first reported case of the Ebola outbreak that devastated several West African countries dated back to December of 2013 in Guinea. It began to spread to other countries as travelers took the disease across the border and by late March, the country of Liberia had reported 8 suspect cases and Sierra Leone reported a total of 6. The spreading continued across West Africa, and by the end of June of 2013, 759 people had been infected with Ebola and a total of 467 individuals had died of it. By the end of the year, it had been marked as the worst outbreak in history. The countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are still feeling the impact of the disease. As of March of 2015, Ebola has claimed the lives of 10,460 people and there are a total of 25,213 reported cases. Medical efforts, slow at first, are at work in every West African country that has been plagued by the outbreak. The World Health Organization states, “Each country now has enough treatment beds to be able to isolate and treat patients with Ebola, and to bury everyone known to have died of the disease.” Only one case has been reported in March in the country of Sierra Leone. The three most affected countries are now seeing a dramatic decrease in the number of infections.
It is great to read that the outbreak has finally begun to fade out. Dr. Le Vaillant stated, “Now that the severity of the Ebola crisis has abated, health professionals are optimistic about the future of health care in West Africa.” The people of West Africa can now begin to pick up the pieces again; however, it will be a long process and road to recovery. So much was lost and so many lives were taken from the disease. But West Africans are looking forward and have begun to rebuild. Now that the storm has disappeared, they can now see sunlight.