2014 Ebola outbreak said to have been the biggest in history

Graphic credit: Visual Science

Noted by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the biggest outbreak of Ebola since the disease was first discovered, the 2014 outbreak saw 22 000 cases - resulting in over 9000 recorded deaths.

Wikipedia notes how researchers generally believe that a boy in Guinea was the first case the kicked off this bout of the epidemic. The year-old boy - later identified as Emile Ouamouno - died in December 2013 in the village of Meliandou, Guéckédou Prefecture, Guinea.

MSF's Humanitarian Policy Advisor, Jens Pedersen outlined the situation as it stands with Redi Tlhabi:

Indeed, the outbreak has declined and we should be optimistic, not complacent, as you must bear in mind that one Ebola-positive patient constitutes an outbreak. Now we've had a massive outbreak, with more than 22 000 cases - and numbers are going down - and optimism is certainly warranted, but complacency certainly is not.

Graphic credit: Wikipedia

Pederson notes what factors could be responsible for the decline in cases seen now, a year later:

It's difficult to pin-point exactly what it is, but there's a series of factors that could be counted towards the decline, including: (a) close engagement with communities (b) ensuring that safe areas have been provided with the communities, so the bereaved can within safety confines take part in some sort of burial ceremony for their loved ones (c) there have been roll out of education programs to communities (d) there have been beds made available to treat Ebola patients - so there have been various factors contributing to the decline.


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