As a forewarning, today’s post will be a bit of a downer. I’m sorry. I’ve just been cruising through my e-mails and came across some tidbits of information that I thought would be beneficial to share with all of you. It’s a little depressing, but life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies – boo.
I’m on the list service for UNICEF, an organization that does a lot of good for those less fortunate and in need around the world. Someday, I wouldn’t mind being employed by them – but I need a stable financial backbone first.
In the most recent e-mail I received from them, they focused on Ebola – a disease of humans and other primates caused by an ebolavirus that is usually acquired upon contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected animal. Symptoms of Ebola start anywhere from two days to three weeks after contracting the virus, and include fever, sore throat, muscle pain and headaches. Vomiting, diarrhea and rash follow soon after, and then comes the decreased functioning (and potentially the failure) of the liver and kidneys; some affected people may begin to bleed both internally and externally, too, including the eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Sounds fun, huh? Ebola is also known to kill more than 50% of the time, with children being particularly vulnerable.
According to The World Health Organization, the Ebola epidemic is growing, threatening as many as 20,000 people over the coming weeks. Now, the disease has spread to another country – Senegal. Altogether, Ebola has claimed more then 1.900 lives in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. This high death toll makes it the deadliest outbreak in history, with close to 300 new cases reported in one week, and that was solely in Liberia.
To help the region try and control this epidemic, UNICEF has been taking various steps. These include airlifting health supplies to Liberia (the country that has been hit the hardest), distributing sanitary supplies to Guinea, spreading vital prevention messages throughout Sierra Leone, deploying response teams for Nigeria and using various forms of media to help disseminate vital lifesaving information throughout the region across West Africa. The scary thing is that most of the people affected in these areas of West Africa had never even heard of Ebola before the outbreak.
Unfortunately, there is no easy cure for Ebola, so sharing information like this is a critical way to spread awareness and hopefully combat this evil disease. A handful of experimental vaccines have undergone trials to determine if they are effective treatments for infected humans, but finding a proven cure is a ways away. Containing the epidemic and raising awareness, as well as distributing proper medical supplies is the best we can do at the moment.
SO … do your part and spread the awareness! Or better yet, go and visit UNICEF’s website and donate time or money; you never know how far your dollar will go, and every little bit counts.
I hope that I didn’t ruin your night with this, but just in case… here’s a picture of these two adorable little kitties that Brenna brought home from the animal hospital today. If anyone in the Northeast is looking to adopt a cat… please reach out to me! One is a baby; she’s only 3 months old and is absolutely gorgeous, and the other is an equally beautiful momma cat. At least, I think she had kittens at one point the way she acts around the baby. Both have fabulous personalities and are in need of some love!