Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is the human disease caused by Ebola viruses. Symptoms start two days to three weeks after contacting the virus with a fever, throat and muscle pains, and headaches. There is then nausea, vomiting and diarrhea along with decreased functioning of the liver and kidneys. At this point some people begin to have problems with bleeding. Manifestation of Ebola begins with a sudden onset of an influenza-like stage characterized by general malaise, fever with chills, joint pain, muscle pain, and chest pain. Nausea is accompanied by abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Respiratory involvement is characterized by pharyngitis with sore throat, cough, dyspnea, and hiccups. The central nervous system is affected as judged by the development of severe headaches, agitation, confusion, fatigue, depression, seizures, and sometimes coma.
The disease is first acquired by a population when a person comes into contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected animal such as a monkey, pig or fruit bat. Fruit bats are believed to carry and spread the disease without being affected by it. Once infected, the disease may be spread from one person to another. . . . Transmission between natural reservoirs and humans are rare, and outbreaks are usually traceable to a single index case where an individual has handled the carcass of gorilla, chimpanzee, or duiker. (From Wikipedia).
Considering how Ebola virus spreads from animals to humans, we were not surprised when we first heard news of the recent Ebola outbreak in the forest region of Guinea. During this time of year, many varieties of fruit ripen, attracting fruit bats, monkeys and other fruit-eating animals. People not only collect and eat the fruits these animals drop, but they also hunt the animals for food. In this region of Guinea, snakes, bats and rodents are delicacies. People will eat just about anything.
The Ebola outbreak was first reported in Macenta, and it spread to Guékédou, Kissidougou, Dabola, Djingaraye and Conakry, the capital. In June, the Minister of Health announced a total of 372 suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) resulting in 236 deaths. In Conakry, 40 confirmed and 13 suspected cases of EHF were reported, resulting in 24 deaths. 24 health care workers in Guinea have been reported with clinical symptoms of EHF, and 16 of them have died.
No cases of EHF have been reported in our town of Fria, but the outbreak has slowed down our missionary activities. The AFM home office advised us to avoid activities and areas that might expose us to the virus. We also maintain a strict regimen of hand-sanitizer use. Awareness of Ebola prevention spread rapidly. Blue barrels of sanitized water are scattered in public areas all over Conakry and Fria, and people are required to wash their hands before entering many public buildings.
God is protecting the people of Fria through your prayers. James 5:16 says that the prayer of a righteous man availeth much. We are very close to the people we are ministering to. So far, God has kept His promises to us. Jesus promised His disciples, “Look, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions and on the full force of the enemy, and nothing will hurt you” (Luke 10:19). This is the promise we are claiming right now. Thank you all, faithful Christians. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as Guinea wars against Ebola.