- 13/11/14 - World
Starting in West Africa, the Ebola deadly virus has rapidly spread across the globe. Whilst there have been a few known cases in America, Ebola has also found its way to us here in Europe. Hospitals in the UK are preparing for patients with the disease, which kills up to seventy percent of those who get infected. How worried should we be?
It was the West African countries Nigeria and Liberia which started to suffer from this horrific illness a few months back. Also Mali has been hit, with a girl as young as four years already dying tragically. Over the last weeks, with heartbreaking images spreading, countries all around the world - France, China and many more - have begun to react, to prepare themselves and to send help. Here in the UK the authorities are also responding to the threat. For example, any traveller from Africa and America coming into Gatwick Airport will be checked for traces of the illness. Unfortunately, this means children flying to the UK to go to be educated have a disadvantage - not getting into good school or university - all because of where that they came from. However, some people think that this is fair since no one wants there child to suffer from this terrible disease.
Thankfully, this has at least become one of the reasons why people and governments have started to react and prevent Ebola from spreading. Millions of pounds have been raised, a quick test to find out if someone is infected has been invented, and very soon a vaccine will be tried out on humans. Usually it takes years to develop a new vaccine, but the fear of Ebola has sped up the process and volunteers will function as guinea pigs to see if it works.
So, where is Ebola right now? As the West African countries fight on as before, Europe has also been hit. In Spain, one case unfortunately lead to death, and there are seven other suspected cases. Furthermore, there has been one suspected case in France. Across the world in America, Oklahoma, Hawaii and New York have had to deal with scares and infected health workers.
All in all, Ebola is a horrific disease, which the world has to fight together. Here in the UK though, a rich country with many doctors and hospitals, we can still feel quite safe. The Ebola virus is not air-borne (you cannot be infected by breathing in air). To get sick, you need to come in direct contact with bodily fluids from someone who is infected. Many other illnesses are more dangerous or kill more people every year, such as malaria, cholera and smallpox. It is important to remember that there are many other sufferings in Africa that also need our attention. See the graphs below to make comparisons.