Meredith Francis ~Campus News Editor~
As the Ebola outbreak continues to spread in West Africa, the World Health Organization is growing concerned that the epidemic is showing no signs of slowing down. Ebola, a hemorrhagic fever virus, has killed more than 1,500 people and infected more than 2,600 people in the region.
There have been confirmed cases in many West African countries, including Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Various international health organizations have flocked to the region to assist in treatment of patients. However, many towns are lacking the medical infrastructure and technology.
Doctors Without Borders, an international health organization has confirmed that treatment centers are unable to help the high volume of patients and are calling upon the international community
for aid. Many treatment centers have been “reduced to places where people go to die alone,” the organization said.
Some health workers have also contracted the virus, including two Americans who were flown back to the U.S. to receive treatment at Emory University Hospital. Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, recently visited parts of West Africa hit hardest by the outbreak.
Frieden said that the number of cases is increasingly rapidly. “There is a window of opportunity to tamp this down, but that window is closing. We need action now to scale up the response,” Frieden said.