Ebola survivors become helpers

Ebola survivors become helpers

Ebola survivors become helpers
18.10.2014

Around 4,500 people have already died of Ebola in West Africa. However, some survived an infection and are now immune to the dangerous virus. This could play an important role in the fight against the disease. For example, by looking after quarantined children.

Survivors are immune The fear of the deadly disease is currently widespread around the world: Ebola has already claimed around 4,500 lives. Not only in the West African countries, but also in Western countries, infected people or patients who show typical Ebola symptoms are treated in clinics. The mortality rate is extremely high. People who have survived infection with the virus are immune to the disease. This could be of great benefit. The survivors are now to be trained as helpers in the fight against the infectious disease.

Supporting families According to a report by the AP news agency, the United Nations has started training survivors of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa to help fight the disease. UNICEF children's director Sarah Crowe said in New York on Friday that the survivors could play an important role in helping families with Ebola sufferers because they were immune to the virus. For example, they could take care of children who would have to be in isolation in their family for 21 days after an Ebola infection.

Hugging toddlers It is possible for Ebola survivors to hug toddlers. Even without protective clothing and other safety precautions that are otherwise designed to avoid any contact. Since in addition to fever, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting as well as bleeding from the mucous membranes and body openings occur in sick people, contact with the body fluids of the infected can hardly be avoided without the measures described. Crowe said: "Ebola has taken every aspect of life hostage." The virus has already orphaned 3,700 children in the region. Since the number of Ebola infections triples every three weeks, this number will continue to increase. Around 4,500 people have died of Ebola since the outbreak began, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Around 9,000 people were infected.

Ebola survivors trained as helpers According to Crowes, the first state transitional care center has opened in the Liberian capital Monrovia. Each month, at least one new center should open in each of Liberia's five hardest-hit regions. Each of them should offer care places for 30 children. So far, according to Crowes, 20 Ebola survivors have been trained to work in these centers. The expert returned from a five-week trip from Africa and the first thing she gave at her press conference was her body temperature. (ad)

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