West Africa has been affected by an unprecedented outburst of the Ebola virus and some new Ebola cases are bad news for Liberia as they thought they were out of danger.
- Liberia and Guinea are two of the most affected countries by the Ebola virus
- A country is declared free of the virus if no new case appears within 42 days
- Liberia cannot financially sustain the health care system for this kind of outbreaks
Liberia is the most affected country by the virus, which caused approximately 4,800 deaths. The country was considered to be ‘free of Ebola transmission’ twice this year but unfortunately other cases appeared that brought back the virus. A country is declared free of the virus when no new case of hemorrhagic fever appears within 42 days.
Although another large epidemic outbreak is unlikely to occur thanks to the fact that they have been making a lot of progress in detecting the disease and responding to it. However, most of the patients who have the virus will be hospital bound for a few more months and possibly years.
Besides the great number of fatalities, another very big concern of the Liberian authorities is that Liberia is a poor country that will be having a lot of trouble dealing with this disease from a financial point of view. In Liberia the annual GDP per capita is $900. Therefore, is not that difficult to imagine that continuing to spend money as well as manpower to fight a virus that doesn’t seem to go away, could easily bankrupt the country.
Recent studies have shown that bodily fluids can still contain the virus even months after the effects of it have passed. This means traces of the virus can be found in semen, vaginal secretions, spinal fluid, saliva or urine.
Besides the outbreak of the Ebola virus, Liberia had health problems to begin with. About 15 percent of children die before reaching the age of 1. Moreover, the country has one of the highest rates of malnutrition and maternal mortality in the world. The focus on the virus keeps children from receiving immunization treatment which makes them even more sensitive and prone to early-death.
In conclusion, Liberia as other countries in West Africa such as Guinea is in great danger because of the Ebola virus. Although the virus might go away, people will still need medical care for a long time and the entire health care system is affected and not able to care for other patients while the country risks bankruptcy.
Image source: www.bing.com