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The Pathogenicity of Ebola virus, the Treatments/Vaccines, and social effects through recent outbreaks

Pena, Andressa (2022) The Pathogenicity of Ebola virus, the Treatments/Vaccines, and social effects through recent outbreaks. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Ebola virus (EBOV) is a highly infectious disease that quickly spread if not properly addressed. Over the years, the virus has claimed multiple lives on a yearly basis, and it has increased recently. During the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak, overall, there were 28,616 patients infected and 11,310 deaths reported in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. In Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 3481 total cases there were 2299 deaths and 1162 survivors. This outbreak had a fatality rate of 66% throughout the 2 years and considered the second largest in Ebola’s history.
These epidemics caused morbidity and mortality that was far larger than any previous Ebola epidemic. Since then, there is an increased amount of information regarding the treatment, vaccination, and control of the Ebola virus vital to public health. This essay aims to review the literature and identify the methods used to treat and control Ebola virus spreading in Africa during the 2014 through 2021 outbreaks in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and DRC, while analyzing the social aspects effect of the epidemic. This assessment was based on literature and survey reviews via PubMed, The World Health Organization, and the US Center for Disease Control. The health care system in these countries suffer from “inadequate resources” which are worsened by poor sanitary conditions and difficult access to rural areas. These combined realities in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and DRC, makes them vulnerable to an epidemic. Furthermore, through the published literature review, there was no evidence of an effective treatment against the EBOV disease that leads to survival without sequelae. However, the most efficient way to prevent the EBOV is via the vaccine rVSVG-ZEBOV-GP. Although the vaccine has not been licensed, it is distributed based on ring vaccination system that, so far, has been effective in protecting patients at high-risk areas. Even though a vaccine exists, public health concern regarding social-economic aspects of Africa shows that the zone of conflicts presents a challenge in distributing the vaccine and ensuring that EBOV does not spread further. Trust should be built between government and humanitarian entities to prevent a future EBOV disease global epidemic.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Pena, Andressaazp12@pitt.eduazp12
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMartinson, Jeremyjmartins@pitt.eduJMARTINSUNSPECIFIED
Committee Co-ChairSalter, Cynthiacys6@pitt.educys6UNSPECIFIED
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Center for Global Health
Date: 16 May 2022
Date Type: Completion
Number of Pages: 33
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 16 May 2022 13:23
Last Modified: 16 May 2022 13:23


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