Since the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was officially declared on 22 March in Guinea, it has claimed more than 8,200 lives in the region. The outbreak is the largest ever, and is currently affecting four countries in West Africa: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Mali. Outbreaks in
Nigeria and Senegal have been declared over. A separate outbreak in DRC has also ended.
What MSF is doing
MSF’s West Africa Ebola response started in March 2014 and counts activities in Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone. MSF currently employs 302 international and around 3 600 national locally hired staff in the region. The organisation operates eight Ebola case management centres (CMCs), providing approximately 650 beds in isolation, and two transit centres. Since the beginning of the outbreak, MSF has admitted more than 7,700 patients, among whom around 4,800 were confirmed as having Ebola. More than 2,200 patients have survived.
More than 1,400 tonnes of supplies have been shipped to the affected countries since March.
What is Ebola?
Ebola is a virus that can kill up to 90 percent of the people who catch it, causing terror among infected communities. Ebola can be caught from both humans and animals. It is not an air-borne disease. Human to human transmission occurs through close contact with bodily fluids of an Ebola-infected person. Patients need to be treated in isolation by staff wearing protective clothing. Supportive care can help the patient survive longer, and the extra time may just be what the patient’s own immune system needs to fight the virus.
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