As Ebola virus continues to spread across West Africa, an infected US physician has arrived at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for treatment, while a second infected American will leave Liberia on Tuesday for treatment at the same hospital. It is now important that all healthcare providers be well informed about this worsening epidemic.
In the past, most outbreaks of Ebola in West Africa have been localized and well contained. What distinguishes this outbreak, which began in March 2014, is its severity and larger area of spread.
When a traveler boarded a plane from Liberia to Lagos, Nigeria, last week -- apparently becoming ill in flight and dying 5 days after landing -- it became more concerning that the spread of any disease could be just a plane ride away.
With a Level 3 travel advisory in place at the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all nonessential travel to the region has been prohibited. Efforts to contain the spread of the virus have not been effective thus far, sparking an international effort involving the World Health Organization, CDC, and the United Nations. Additional need for healthcare professionals in rural areas, along with more modern equipment to help contain the virus, is essential, according to officials from the CDC.