Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is currently working to fight an outbreak of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. If contracted, Ebola is one of the world's most deadly diseases. It is a highly infectious virus that can kill up to 90 percent of the people who catch it, causing terror among infected communities.
Although no specific treatment or vaccine is yet available for Ebola, MSF teams are working in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea to isolate patients and treat their symptoms. In Sierra Leone, MSF has also trained more than 200 community health workers to deliver essential health messages to people in their villages about how to protect themselves against Ebola and what action to take if someone shows any signs or symptoms of the disease.
With resources already stretched, health authorities and international organizations are struggling to bring the outbreak under control. Beyond medical treatment, controlling the outbreak will require the deployment of large numbers of people to train health care personnel in infection control measures, to follow up with and trace cases and their contacts, to set up an epidemiological surveillance network, and to promote public health messages.