Ebola and the International community

Term Paper 2015 16 Pages

Sociology - Medical Care


Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 History of Ebola
2.1 Development of the virus
2.2 Transmission
2.3 Scientific research
2.4 Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa

3 Treatment
3.1 Diagnosis
3.2 Therapy

4 Prevention and combat
4.1 Prevention during treatment
4.2 Combat

5 Responds from the International community
5.1 United Nations
5.2 International organizations
5.3 Responses from countries

6 Conclusion

7 List of works cited

8 Source of pictures

1 Introduction

This term paper is concerned with the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa and the responses from the International community.

I have chosen this topic, because it was in all the headlines from the newspapers in 2014.

We are also responsible for the proceedings in the world. We can’t just close our eyes.

There are people suffering in different parts of the world, so we have to do as much as we can to help them.

The purpose of this term paper is to inform and clarify about the Ebola virus.

The main part of the term paper is divided in four parts. The first part is about the history of Ebola how it emerged and distributed. The second part shows the treatment and the third part the prevention and combat from Ebola. The final part displays the respond from the International community and how different institutions reacted and helped.

There comes up the question if they reacted in an appropriate way.

This term paper doesn’t shows the biological and chemical details of the virus. It would be too sophisticated and complicated. It is limited to the superficies from the virus and the international reactions and helpfulness of the people.

In the end I will answer the question if the international community reacted appropriate to Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

The answer won’t be a consensus, it will be my subjective opinion.

2 History of Ebola

2.1 Development of the virus

The source of the virus is vague. But it comes from animals. The scientists assume that the virus is contracted from fruit bats. According to the WHO it could be possible that chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, antelopes and porcupines are in relation to the virus (cf. www.handelsblatt.com)[1]. To find out the origin of the virus, it needs more tests. With the current state of scientific knowledge they can just assume its origin.

Onset of the virus

The first outbreak occurred in 1976 in Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo). The virus spread after close personal contact and by the use of contaminated needles and syringes in hospitals and clinics (cf. http://www.cdc.gov)[2]. They used the same syringes for hundreds of patients, because they only had five of them. This outbreak was the first cognition of the disease. From 318 infected humans 280 of them died². At nearly the same time the outbreak of the virus occurred in Sudan. In Sudan 151 infected people from 284 died². The virus is named after the Ebola River in which area the first cases occurred. In 55 villages near this river 280 people died². In 1995 the outbreak of Ebola occurred again in the Democratic Republic of Congo². From 315 infected people 250 died. In the early 2000s it occurred several times again in Congo². The death rate was always about 80 %². The next big outbreak in March 2014 in West Africa. The number of infected people amounts to 22828 people. The death rate is 40 %. The outbreak still lasts on. The amount of infections is still rising. The most badly affected countries are Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Sparsely affected is Congo with 66 cases and 49 deaths (cf. de.wikipedia.org)[3]. With the knowledge of the onset and the outbreaks since 1976, there comes up the question how the disease transmits on the human. On the following page I will explain the transmission of the virus.

2.2 Transmission

The virus is very contagious and because of that very dangerous for humans. The transmission between humans takes place through body fluids like blood, saliva and sweat (cf. flexikon.doccheck.com)[4].

A transmission trough air couldn’t be proved yet (cf. www.infektionsschutz.de)[5]. The firs clinical signs after the transmission are coming up after two to twenty-one days.

The sign of the disease are weakness, headache, muscle aches, sore throat, conjunctivitis and nausea5. In the further course of the disease vomiting, diarrhea, liver and renal dysfunction are coming up5. In addition internal and external bleeding could be an impact of the disease5.

When it’s critical the kidney, liver and other organs could failure, which makes the disease deadly5.

That shows how grave the disease is. Because of that and the contagiousness there are instructions how to behave when there is danger of an Ebola infection.

The infected people have to be isolated immediately. To ensure the safety of the medical staff, there are isolation wards for the infected people.

There are eight of these isolation wards in Germany. In Stuttgart the Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus has an isolation ward for high contagious patients, but only for one patient (cf. stuttgarter-zeitung.de)[6].

There are 16 people who are responsible for one patient in 24 hours. They are wearing special overalls with Perspex visors. The room has an overpressure and a high temperature6.

These are prevention measures, to stop the spread of the virus6.

The United States Army Command is stationed in Stuttgart.

There are members of this command in Liberia, where are many infected people. When somebody gets infected, he will be treated in Liberia or flown over to the United States of America.6 There is no danger from the army member to bring the virus to Stuttgart.

When somebody comes from Liberia back to Stuttgart, he will be nevertheless watched for 21 days.

Then the person will be checked for fever and symptoms of the disease.

Ebola virus outbreaks from 1978 to 2008 [7]

2.3 Scientific research

The German scientist Stephan Becker is doing researches about Ebola virus. He is the director of the virology institute of the university Marburg. He is also the coordinator of the contagious diseases at the German Center for Infection Research.

“Die Arbeit am Ebola-Virus hat in Deutschland eine längere Tradition“(see fn)[8]

“The work at the Ebola virus has in Germany a longer tradition“

With this quote Stephan Becker mentions that Germany doesn’t engages with the researches about the Ebola virus not just since the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa. It has a longer tradition in Germany.


[1] http://www.handelsblatt.com/technik/medizin/die-grosse-ebola-frage-woher-kommt-das-virus/10352886.html

[2] http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/history/chronology.html

[3] http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebolafieber-Epidemie_2014#Andere_Ebolavirus-Variante_in_der_Demokratischen_Republik_Kongo

[4] http://flexikon.doccheck.com/de/Ebolafieber#.C3.9Cbertragung

[5] http://www.infektionsschutz.de/erregersteckbriefe/ebola-fieber/#c60924

[6] http://www.stuttgarter-zeitung.de/inhalt.robert-bosch-krankenhaus-in-stuttgart-kapazitaet-nur-fuer-einen-ebola-fall.04f2579a-d206-43b7-9660-d1ca96e4ad05.html

[7] http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/EbolaSubmit2.png

[8] Stephan Becker 05.11.2014 http://www.bmbf.de/de/25014.php


ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
861 KB
Catalog Number
ebola international



Title: Ebola and the International community