The worst battle in history against the deadly disease is almost over. It seems to be slowly disappearing and soon enough, it will remain only a bad dream that could’ve been a whole lot worse. But now comes the Ebola aftermath: severe pain, blindness, and suffering in general.
It’s been over a year since the outbreak began. Back in December 2013, the West African country of Guinea reported the first cases. Little did we think back then that it would come to be one of the worst and most rapid outbreaks of a disease, and it would end up killing a 11 thousand people, according to the most recent estimates available.
Although it has been made into a worldwide thing, the disease was largely confined to West Africa, with most deaths occurring in Liberia, with almost 4.8 thousand, Sierra Leone, with 3.9, and Guinea, with 2.5. Only one US citizen succumbed to the disease. Yet, there is a new, lingering problem that the World Health Organization is drawing attention upon.
Over the course of the outbreak, some 27,872 people were infected. Now, you do the math and let’s see how many of these actually survived. The answer: a lot. Almost half, the official number being more than 13 thousand.
While this is partially good news, as it shows that it could’ve been much worse, the problems now arising are both scary and hard to treat. Anders Nordstorm, a representative for WHO who recently held a conference in Sierra Leone on dealing with survivors, says that the new crisis is an emergency that has arisen from another emergency. This has never been dealt with neither from a medical perspective, nor from a societal one.
There have never been this many survivors of Ebola. The previous outbreak infected just 425 people from Uganda. Compared to this one, it seems like a gentle pat on the back versus a knock-out punch to the sternum.
The aftermath of the deadly disease can be seen in a number of symptoms. These symptoms range from both physical nature to psychological nature, and oftentimes they come combined. Joint pain is the first on the list, with many people reporting that it is too severe to even work. Bulging eyes is the second problem. This comes from the fact that the eye is one of the few parts of the body where the virus can escape to. This problem can lead to blindness and is extremely hard to treat.
Besides these two issues, the former diseased men and women experience fatigue similar to that given by fever, depression and can easily suffer from PTSD.
There is not yet a clear plan for combating these problems, but officials from the three main countries are working together to try to find one.
Image source: cbc.ca