Ebola hits local professor hard - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Ebola hits local professor hard

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"Five of my family members have died from Ebola.  Five," Sakui Malakpa said.  "And I just heard this afternoon, a sixth person who was a very close friend, a distant relative, also died, so that makes six for me."  

Ebola.  A virus so potent, so deadly, even its name induces fear.  As of now, it's of little direct threat to our corner of the world.  Still, the virus has no cure, and transmission can come as fast as a jet's engines.  

"I was in Liberia last December and this January and I was scheduled to leave on the twelfth of August to go to Liberia," professor Malakpa said.  "But of course, that trip has been canceled."

Doctors Without Borders calls Sierra Leone the "epicenter of the epidemic."  Our State Department tracks the spread for travelers and released its own report on the outbreak.  The CDC monitors Ebola and the threat to our country.  

"In the United States, you have much better resources, you'd be able to isolate someone, provide whatever supportive therapy in terms of fluids, things like that to the person.  So they'd have a much better chance A) of surviving, and B) not turning into an outbreak."

Ebola has taken the lives of nearly 700 people, including a man from Minnesota .   That state claims the biggest population of Liberians in America and is a place Sakui Malakpa knows well.  He just returned Monday after addressing the roots of the virus.

"So it's spreading for several reasons.  One, some people are still in denial that it doesn't exist... The second reason is that there are traditional burial customs that people follow...And the third reason, is that in hospitals, healthcare providers are fleeing from suspected cases, when they themselves do not have protective gear, gloves and other things to protect them."

CNN is reporting that the Peace Corps is pulling its volunteers and workers out of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. 

The disease kills roughly 90% of those that catch the virus.  Symptoms often look like flu, but the telltale signs are a rash and bleeding.  Ebola can take up to three weeks of incubation to show up.  Again, it's of little direct threat to america now.


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