The Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if left untreated. The outbreak that occurred in March, 2014, caused worldwide, and intense media attention. The severity and spread-ability of the disease caused interest, and also panic is some parts of the world.
The recent Ebola outbreak was confirmed in Guinea, in March 2014, and quickly spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Two years later, on March 29th, 2016, the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) for Ebola was lifted.
According to the World Health Organization, Ebola has been blamed for 11,310 deaths in the West Africa nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, out of a total 28,616 cases.
Since the West Africa Ebola epidemic, there have been trials for a new vaccine, but currently there is no licensed Ebola vaccine. The two potential candidates are still undergoing evaluation.
Media interest in the outbreak affected public perception of the virus. Many people all over the world were concerned about the likelihood of the disease spreading outside of the affected region. Resulting in airports being closed, and flights being prohibited from affected areas.
Ebola is not an airborne virus, and is transmitted through direct contact with infected bodily fluids. However, a survey by Harvard University found that 68 percent of people believed that the disease was easily spread, and that 40 percent of American believed that there will be a large outbreak in the United States.
The worldwide media interest in the outbreak affected the type of information that was available. SAFEY’s travel risk analysts compiled only reliable information for users. In-app users receive a health overview of the genuine risks of the virus.
It is important during outbreaks, such as the West Africa Ebola epidemic, that people are provided with valuable, and reliable information. Not what creates the best headlines.
During the health crisis SAFEY alerts users in real-time for the following:
- Regions where outbreaks were confirmed.
- When country borders where closed, and quarantine measures introduced.
- When schools or government institutions were closed.
- Updated travel risk to the areas affected by the Ebola virus.
- Changes to airport protocols, and suspension of flights.
- Where screening measures took place.
- State of emergency declarations.