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Global issues of the ebola epidemic
  • 3

  • Course Code:
  • University: Birmingham City School Of Health Sciences
  • Country: United Kingdom

Introduction 

•    Ebola epidemic occurred in 2013
•    Ebola epidemic had negative impact on economics 
•    Largest-ever Ebola pandemic occurred in West Africa in 2014

Ebola Introduction

Source: CDC, 2019

This report is based on the critical condition of the Ebola epidemic that occurred in 2013. The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced instances of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) on March 23, 2014, in a rural, forested area of southeast Guinea.

Near the community of Meliandou in the Guéckédou District of densely forested Guinea, which is next to the boundaries of Sierra Leone and Liberia, the 2013–16 West African EVD outbreak seemed to have started. The discovery of these initial cases signalled the start of the largest-ever Ebola pandemic in West Africa. However, there are different impacts of this epidemic on economics and this reacted as a survival factor. 

Description of the Ebola virus 

•    Ebola causes fever, bodily pains, diarrhea
•    It harms immune system and organs 
•    It results in a decrease in blood-clotting cell levels and uncontrollable bleeding

Ebola Virus

Source: Hopkins medicine, 2023

An uncommon yet fatal virus called Ebola causes fever, bodily pains, diarrhoea, and occasionally internal and external bleeding. The immune system and organs are harmed as a result of the virus's body-wide distribution. In the end, it results in a decrease in blood-clotting cell levels. The result is significant, uncontrollable bleeding.

The three genera that make up the major viral family Filoviridae are Cuevavirus, Marburgvirus, and Ebolavirus (EBOV). The five species of Ebolavirus that have been identified are from Zaire, Bundibugyo, Sudan, Reston, and Tai Forest. 

Pathogenicity Of Ebola

•    Ebola virus enter a person through mucosal membranes, cracks in the skin, or parenterally
•    Ebolaviruses can infect a variety of cell types, including monocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages, fibroblasts
•    VP35, VP24, and GP have been identified as EBOV's three primary virulence components 
•    Ebola virus enter a person through mucosal membranes, cracks in the skin, or parenterally
•    Ebolaviruses can infect a variety of cell types, including monocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages, fibroblasts
•    VP35, VP24, and GP have been identified as EBOV's three primary virulence components (Yamaoka and Ebihara, 2021)

Ebola Transmission
Source: Rivera and Messaoudi,  2015

The microbial cell of Ebola virus enter a person through mucosal membranes, cracks in the skin, or parenterally. Cuts in the skin or touching the eyes, nose, or mouth allow Ebola to enter the body.

Fever, exhaustion, and headache are some of the early symptoms of the disease caused by Ebola. VP35, VP24, and GP have been identified as EBOV's three primary virulence components among all its proteins.

As an IFN antagonist, VP35 prevents the host's induction of type I IFN-/- and prevents the activation of the protein kinase R triggered by double-stranded RNA, which is a mediator of cellular antiviral responses. 

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Ebola epidemic

•    West African Ebola outbreak that occurred between 2014 and 2016 
•    Uganda declared the end of the Ebola disease outbreak brought on by the Sudan ebolavirus on January 11, 2023 (Ecdc, 2023). 

ebola outbreak

Source: Economist, 2016


The West African Ebola outbreak that occurred between 2014 and 2016 started in a rural area of southeast Guinea, quickly expanded to cities and across borders, and within months, became a worldwide epidemic. Uganda declared the end of the Ebola disease outbreak brought on by the Sudan ebolavirus on January 11, 2023.

Sudan viral disease (SVD) caused by Ebola was officially diagnosed in 142 confirmed cases, of which 55 passed away (CFR: 39%) and 87 recovered. In addition, 22 deaths were documented among probable cases in those who passed away before samples could be collected (total CFR: 47%). Seven of the 19 affected healthcare professionals died as a result of the infection.

Statistics of epidemic 

•    Approximately 20% of all EVD cases involved children under 15
•    Routine immunizations were reduced by 30%
•    This outbreak caused 28,652 infections and 11,325 fatalities, with 99% of the fatalities occurring in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, which are nearby (Ohimain et al., 2021).

epidemic statistics

Source: CDC, 2023

The Ebola virus (EVD), one of the deadliest viral infections, was discovered in 1976 as a result of two consecutive epidemics of lethal hemorrhagic fever in separate regions of Central Africa.

The first epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) was near the Ebola River, which gave the virus its name. The second outbreak occurred in what is now South Sudan. Approximately 20% of all EVD cases involved children under 15, and the epidemic is thought to have left 30,000 orphaned.

Routine immunisations were reduced by 30%, increasing the danger to children, since resources formerly allocated to child vaccination campaigns were diverted to the Ebola response or delayed to prevent public gatherings.

West Africa witnessed the greatest, bloodiest, and longest Ebola virus disease outbreak in recorded history from December 2013 to March 2016. In 10 countries, this outbreak caused 28,652 infections and 11,325 fatalities, with 99% of the fatalities occurring in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, which are nearby.

Sierra Leone announced another instance of EVD in January 2016 after making an initial declaration in November 2015, and on March 17, 2016, the country declared itself to be Ebola-free.

The initial conclusion of the outbreak proclamation in Guinea was made in December 2015, but new cases were found in March and April 2016. In June 2016, Guinea was formally deemed Ebola-free. 

Global effect of Ebola epidemic 

•    Significant shocks to regional investment, production, and consumption
•    Ebola's effects on the economy include decreased gross domestic product (World bank, 2023)
•    Health systems have disintegrated, and mortality from causes unrelated to Ebola is rising

globaleffectebola    

Source: World bank, 2023


Due to significant shocks to regional investment, production, and consumption, as well as shocks to commodity prices, the economic and fiscal impact has surpassed the epidemiological impact. Sixty percent of people afflicted with the epidemic have died. The three Ebola countries have been hit by the drop in global commodity prices.

The impact of Ebola has been exacerbated by the 30 to 60 percent decrease in bauxite, iron ore, and gold prices since their recent peaks. For the three nations, managing volatility has proven difficult, particularly in light of the negative consequences the gap in commodity prices has had on fiscal revenue. Ebola's effects on the economy include decreased gross domestic product, a risk to food security, and a decline in employment.

Due to school closures, about 2 million children in Sierra Leone have been missing out on education, increasing their chances of dropping out, getting pregnant as a teen, and working as children.

Health systems have disintegrated, and mortality from causes unrelated to Ebola is rising. Compared to a pre-Ebola prediction of 4.0 percent, real GDP growth in 2015 was only 0.1 percent. Mining shrank, while services experienced very little growth, and the only sector that showed some resiliency was agriculture.

Similar to 2013, when real GDP expanded by 20.7 percent, the increasing iron ore production drove GDP growth of 4.6 percent in 2014. Real GDP growth decreased to 0.7% in 2014 from 8.7% in 2013, which was a result of the simultaneous shocks of Ebola and falling commodity prices.

Social determinants of health and health inequalities
•    The worldwide social determinants of health (SDH), reflects a clear health discrepancy between developing and less developed countries
•    Countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone were severely handicapped in terms of health and economic resources (Houéto, 2019)

The wide range of personal, social, economic, and environmental elements that affect both an individual's and a population's health are known as "determinants of health."

Although the main observed modes of transmission are direct contact and contaminated staff, there are other factors, such as a high case fatality ratio and frequent contacts among people in developed nations, which may contribute to the outbreak of the EVD.

Given the worldwide social determinants of health (SDH), there is a clear health discrepancy between developing and less developed countries.

Countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone, which had only one doctor for every 100,000 people before to the start of the pandemic, were severely handicapped in terms of health and economic resources as a result of ongoing civil war. 

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Impact of the Ebola epidemic 

•    Economic losses of the Ebola virus range from $2.8 billion to $32.6 billion in terms of lost gross domestic product (Huber et al., 2018)
•    The West African Ebola outbreak is estimated to have cost the GDPs of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone more than US$2 billion.
•    EVD outbreak created a number of other opportunities. 
 
ebolaimpact

Source: Cangul et al., 2017


Estimates of the economic losses of the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa range from $2.8 billion to $32.6 billion in terms of lost gross domestic product. The 2014 Ebola pandemic is predicted to have cost $53.19 billion in economic and social costs. Due to travel constraints, lost output from illness and death, and travel restrictions, epidemics can affect trade and service delivery.

The West African Ebola outbreak is estimated to have cost the GDPs of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone more than US$2 billion. Travel restrictions, a decrease in agricultural output, a fall in cross-border trade, and a decline in private-sector investments were the main contributors to this. Despite its negative effects on other industries and public health, the EVD outbreak created a number of other opportunities.

It encouraged Guinea to prioritise community involvement in mitigating public health hazards, increase health spending, and hire an additional 2950 health workers. The drop in service delivery for other conditions during the West African Ebola outbreak was predicted to be 50%. Deaths from diseases like measles that may have been avoided increased dramatically as a result of this. The disruption of people's social lives is another effect. 

Impact Of Neoliberalism In This Issue

•    Neoliberal practices of privatising healthcare, inadequate medical facilities, resources, and personnel it has hastened the spread of the Ebola virus.
•    Public health program budget cuts and other austerity measures implemented in the name of neoliberal ideology hurt healthcare systems. They made it more difficult for them to stop the spread of Ebola.
•    Because of the effect of neoliberal policies on the healthcare sector, pharmaceutical firms prioritised profit over public health and stopped researching vaccines for rare diseases like Ebola.
•    International response: Because of the neoliberal emphasis on national sovereignty, states were reluctant to request or accept outside assistance, which led to sluggish and ineffective responses to the Ebola outbreak.
•    Limitations on travel and transportation, restrictions on people's freedom of movement, and restrictions on the people's right to peaceful assembly (Qureshi, 2016).  
•    The loss of gross domestic product, the risk to food security, the drop in employment and livelihoods, and the decline in foreign investment are some of the negative effects of the Ebola outbreak on the economy (World bank, 2023). 

The loss of gross domestic product, the risk to food security, the drop in employment and livelihoods, and the decline in foreign investment are some of the negative effects of the Ebola outbreak on the economy.

Sierra Leone's growth has stagnated and is probably going to slow down even further. It is important to note that while many infectious diseases are spread by contact with the environment (such as through water or soil), Ebola spreads through direct contact between hosts. This indicates that while the virus is less sensitive to a changing climate, bats and humans are nonetheless directly impacted by it.

One of the few nations where the Ebola virus illness outbreak substantially impacted the political infrastructure was Sierra Leone. Limitations on travel and transportation, restrictions on people's freedom of movement, and restrictions on the people's right to peaceful assembly and community due to regulations that have resulted in a "do not touch" policy were some of the obstacles to the political infrastructure.

The daily service facilities have significantly degraded as a result of the Sierra Leonean government's decision to discontinue funding programmes not directly related to the fight against the Ebola virus epidemic. 

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Conclusion 

•    Huge economic and social impact of Ebola in terms of the Global exchange process
•    Scope of employment
•    Huge impact on global operations

ebola conclusion

Source: Mercy corps, 2019


Overall the conclusion states that from 2013 to 2016 there is a huge economic and social impact of Ebola in terms of the Global exchange process. Moreover, the strategies are modified to uplift the failure and open new scope of employment which was important for survival as well. Thus, there is a huge impact on global operations which was modified innovatively for survival purposes. 

References 

•    Cangul, M., Sdralevich, C. and Sian, I., 2017. Beating back Ebola: nimble action on the economic front was key to overcoming the health crisis. Finance & Development, 54(2), pp.54-57.
•    Cdc, 2023, 2014-2016 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa, Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/history/2014-2016-outbreak/index.html [Accessed on: 29th April 2023] •    Cdc, 2023, History of Ebola Virus Disease, Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/history/summaries.html [Accessed on: 29th April 2023]
•    Dean, N.E., Halloran, M.E., Yang, Y. and Longini, I.M., 2016. Transmissibility and pathogenicity of Ebola virus: a systematic review and meta-analysis of household secondary attack rate and asymptomatic infection. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 62(10), pp.1277-1286.
•    Ecdc, 2023, Ebola outbreak in Uganda, as of 11 January 2023, Available at: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/news-events/ebola-outbreak-uganda [Accessed on: 29th April 2023]
•    Economist, 2016, Ebola in Africa: the end of a tragedy?, Available at: https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2016/01/14/ebola-in-africa-the-end-of-a-tragedy [Accessed on: 29th April 2023]
•    Hopkins medicine, 2023, Ebola, Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/ebola [Accessed on: 29th April 2023]
•    Houéto, D., 2019. The social determinants of emerging infectious diseases in Africa. MOJ Public Health, 8(2), pp.57-63.
•    Huber, C., Finelli, L. and Stevens, W., 2018. The economic and social burden of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The Journal of infectious diseases, 218(Supplement_5), pp.S698-S704.
•    Mercy corps, 2019, Chapter 4: How does Ebola affect the economy? Available at: https://www.mercycorps.org/blog/ebola-outbreaks-africa-guide/chapter-4 [Accessed on: 29th April 2023]
•    Ohimain, E.I. and Silas-Olu, D., 2021. The 2013–2016 Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa. Current Opinion in Pharmacology, 60, pp.360-365.
•    Qureshi, A.I., 2016. Economic and political impact of Ebola virus disease. Ebola virus disease, p.177.
•    Rivera, A. and Messaoudi, I., 2015. Pathophysiology of Ebola virus infection: current challenges and future hopes. ACS infectious diseases, 1(5), pp.186-197.
•    World bank, 2023, 2014-2015 West Africa Ebola Crisis: Impact Update, Available at: https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/macroeconomics/publication/2014-2015-west-africa-ebola-crisis-impact-update [Accessed on: 29th April 2023] •    World bank, 2023, The Socio-Economic Impacts of Ebola in Sierra Leone, Available at: https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty/publication/socio-economic-impacts-ebola-sierra-leone [Accessed on: 29th April 2023]
•    Yamaoka, S. and Ebihara, H., 2021. Pathogenicity and Virulence of Ebolaviruses with Species-and Variant-specificity. Virulence, 12(1), pp.885-901.

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