Ebola in Africa: What Can Be Done?
October 24, 2014•9 min
As you focus on the situation in the United States, it's easy to lose focus of the major Ebola outbreak in Africa and the thousands killed by it.As we focus on the situation in the United States, it's easy to lose focus of the major Ebola outbreak in Africa and the thousands killed by it. When something isn't directly affecting your everyday life, it may be easier to not care as much and look the other way. However, experts believe unless we get a hold on the rampant outbreak in Western Africa, it will be harder to contain and cure in other countries.Unfortunately, the countries in Africa do not have the medical supplies like the U.S and other developed countries. Therefore, the spreading and preventing is very hard to contain.The current outbreak of Ebola is the deadliest since it was first discovered back in 1976. Ebola has claimed the lives of at least 4, 877 in West Africa. One patient has died in the U.S, two in Spain and one in Germany.What drug treatments are available?Drugs and supplies are limited. This is because when doctors are doing clinical trials on drugs, they don't want to waste equipment due to worry of shelf life and the possibility of the drug not being successful.Drugs also need to be approved by the Federal Drug Administration to ensure their safety to those who would be using it. A drug that was approved for an emergency use on two patients in the U.S., ZMapp, has no more doses available.By using oral or intravenous fluids, it can help improve patients infected from Ebola. Currently, other drugs and vaccines are being fast tracked to undergo safety testing to be used in humans.What else do you need to know about the treatment options that can be used to help contain the virus in Africa?Rade B. Vukmir, MD and David C. Pigott, MD discuss why the virus in Africa needs to be contained in order for the virus to stop spreading, and what vaccines are being considered.