Following the outbreak of the deadly hemorrhagic fever – Ebola disease – in neighbouring West African countries of Guinea and Sierra Leone, Gambian health authorities have been monitoring the situation with a view to avoiding its epidemic in the country.
It came after the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the
Guinean health officials reported Sunday that 59 out of the 80 people
infected in that country died of the highly contagious disease.
Although there is no confirmed case of the disease in The Gambia yet,
however, given the porosity of the borders within the sub-region,
coupled with the frequent movement of people in and out of the various
borders, the situation has poses threat to countries like The Gambia
where a lot of African nationals visit regularly for trade and other
But reacting to the epidemic Sunday through a press release, The
Gambia’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare confirmed the outbreak
in neighbouring countries, and cautioned that there is no cause for
alarm as the country has ”all the required logistics and manpower” to
deal with any eventual occurrence.
”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.
Ebola hemorrhagic fever (also called Ebola fever) is the human disease
associated with the Ebola virus and it happens when the virus enters
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.
Another update about Ebola in Swedish (can be translated with the translating-tool up on the left side of the page, just choose language, please) find it HERE!