Health authorities in The Gambia appear to have been alerted by the deadly outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever - Ebola disease - in neighbouring West African countries after 59 out of the 80 people infected in Guinea reportedly died, whilst Sierra Leone is making efforts to contain it.
The Daily Observer Sunday afternoon gauged the reaction of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare for comments on the potential threat the highly contagious disease poses to the population, and from all indications they are ready to deal with it in case of any suspected incident. "The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare would like to inform the general public of the outbreak of ebola virus in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. The general public is hereby informed that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is fully aware of the situation and closely monitoring it. All the required logistics and manpower are readily available to deal with the situation in case of any suspected or confirmed case of the disease. The general public should look out for the following signs and symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, weakness, bleeding from the nose, mouth, anus and vagina plus history of travel or occupational exposure to wild life. All suspected cases should be reported to the nearest health facility. The disease is serious and contagious. Once again the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare wishes to assure the general public that there should be no cause for alarm," it concluded.
Ebola virus is an uncommon viral infection which kills nearly 90% of its victims. Researchers from the National Institute of Health (NIH) have identified five types of Ebola virus and discovered something in the virus that causes the significant internal bleeding that almost always results in death. The viral glycoprotein is believed to destroy endothelial cells that line the walls of the blood vessels.
Causes of Ebola virus
Ebola hemorrhagic fever (also called Ebola fever) is the human disease associated with the Ebola virus and it happens when the virus enters the body.
Four of the five Ebola viruses cause disease in humans. The four deadly variants are: Bundibugyo virus, Ebola virus, Sudan virus, and Taï Forest virus. So far, only parts of Africa have reported the disease in humans, but the Reston type of Ebola virus (not harmful to humans) has now been identified by scientists in the Philippines.