Britain takes precautions as Ebola Virus death toll reaches 500 in West Africa
In recent weeks, the death toll in the West of Africa from the Ebola Virus has been rapidly rising to 467 deaths so far. With the first suspected case being treated in Ghana, this is being hailed the worlds deadliest outbreak to date.
Although there have been no reported cases in the UK yet, many fear that it if it is spreading so rapidly through Western Africa it won’t be long before cases begin to pop up across the world. Careful preparations are already being put in place to prevent an outbreak in Britain, due to the upcoming Commonwealth games. These include careful observation of patients for the symptoms of the virus, especially in people who have recently visited family in the West of Africa.
Since the virus was first detected in 1976 in the Congo, there has been little advancement in the way of vaccination or cure, but this virus in considered one of the deadliest in the world. The fatality rate has in some cases reached 90%. With an incubation period of anywhere between 2 to 21 days.
Jeremy Farrar, a professor of tropical medicine and director of The Wellcome Trust charity, believes that in such circumstances stages in clinical trials should be fast tracked, in order to trial experimental drugs on patients.This will give patients more of a choice of how to deal with a virus which has such a high mortality rate. This means that patients could try experimental drugs, that do carry risks, but also face the possibility of finding a cure. This seems slightly more promising than supportive care.
There is a greater need for a vaccine for Ebola than ever.