Shutdown in Sierra Leone

Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, is not free for three days starting September 19. There is a shutdown in the nation, and people are being asked to stay at home. Health workers will go from door to door educating people about the Ebola virus disease (EVD) and testing people to see if they have the disease.

There has been an outbreak of Ebola in some West African countries, and the worst affected are Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Over 5,000 cases have been reported and more than 2,500 people have died. The first cases of people infected with the disease were reported in Guinea in March. EVD is a very serious disease and may lead to a person dying. There is no specific treatment for it, but some patients recover with proper medical care. It is caused by the ebola virus which can be transmitted to humans from animals who have the virus (such as fruit bats). The infection can then be passed on from one person to the other through blood, sweat, and other bodily fluids.

Since the disease is infectious, people don’t want to go to crowded places. This has started hurting the economies of nations where people have Ebola. Some haven’t been going to work leading to food shortages. Folks have been spending less money which hurts businesses. People are buying large quantities of food out of fear of what’s to come. This has driven up food prices.

Many countries’ governments and international organizations are working to help people with the disease and also to stop the disease from spreading. Scientists are working to find medicines to cure the disease.

Here is a video about how a virus works.

Image Credits: http://www.cdc.gov/ for Ebola images

Sources: http://www.un.org/, http://www.worldbank.org/, http://www.who.int/, CIA World Factbook, http://abcnews.go.com/