I wanted to read more about Ebola because it is a problem Africa is currently experiencing, spreading to many different countries. However, I chose to read specifically about the cases and actions of Liberia. Ebola is a severe, most of the times fatal, disease spread through blood, secretions, or organs of an infected person or animal. Symptoms begin with headaches, sore throat, muscle pains and fever usually three days to two weeks until the virus progresses to the next stage. Those symptoms are then followed by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and bleeding, along with decreasing function of the liver and kidney. Liberia had to deploy troops this week to quarantine parts of the country in hopes to contain the disease and prevent spreading. People who may be carrying the virus are going to be given boundaries that they will not be able to cross. If these actions do not help stop the spread of the disease then next week Liberia might begin using experimental drugs for treatment.
I could not find an article written by an anthropologist about Liberia specifically but I found an article by Bonnie Hewlett and Barry Hewlett, Providing Care and Facing Death: Nursing During Ebola Outbreaks in Central Africa. Barry Hewlett has been studying Ebola for many years, well before the current outbreak in Africa. Central Africa has previously experienced outbreaks of this disease in 1995, 2000 and 2003. The Hewlett’s decided to study the people on the other side of the disease, the nurses. Nurses and other health care workers often put themselves at the greatest risk for catching Ebola. Africa lacks the essential equipment to keep nurses caring for patients with Ebola from contracting the disease. This is another dilemma countries with Ebola outbreaks are faced with. Nurses want to continue helping sick patients but they also want to keep themselves and their families healthy. Ebola is a very scary and serious virus but it is because of the dedication of these nurses and health care givers that 100% of the cases do not end in death.
Link to the article: http://anthro.vancouver.wsu.edu/media/PDF/Nurs_Journal_copy.pdf