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EDITORIAL
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2

The global contemporary diseases outbreak: An enigmatic challenge to medical science


Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Date of Web Publication12-Feb-2016

Correspondence Address:
Sunday Samuel Adebisi
Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Nigeria
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DOI: 10.4103/2384-5147.176266

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How to cite this article:
Adebisi SS. The global contemporary diseases outbreak: An enigmatic challenge to medical science. Sub-Saharan Afr J Med 2016;3:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Adebisi SS. The global contemporary diseases outbreak: An enigmatic challenge to medical science. Sub-Saharan Afr J Med [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Oct 16];3:1-2. Available from: http://www.ssajm.org/text.asp?2016/3/1/1/176266

The World Health Organization (WHO) presently has on its list an increasing number of pandemic and epidemic diseases currently ravaging the planet earth, which among others include Zika virus Infection and Guillain-Barre syndrome in the Americas and Europe; Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Human Infection with Avian Influenza A (H1N1, H5N6, H7N9) in Arabia and Asia; Lassa fever and the apparently receding Ebola virus diseases in some West African nations. [1],[2]

Ebola virus disease broke out in Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in 2015. Medical Personnel stood up to the task to combat it and was relatively promptly contained, though not until after it had taken its toll, getting to a thousand deaths with an enlarging list of survivors of the disease now in tens of thousands who are yet grappling with the challenge of stigmatization and means of livelihood. Moreover, the economic consequence of the Ebola outbreak will yet take time to heal up in the relatively poor countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone that were the hardest hit. [1]

The cases of MERS-CoV and human infection with avian influenza A (H1N1, H5N6, H7N9) rampage also in the past years in mostly the Arabian and Asian nations are not less astonishing even in these, though relatively economically and technologically advanced nations considering the devastations caused. Likewise, the presently raging Zika virus disease and Lassa fever are already causing havoc in the affected countries, and we are now counting the lives lost again even as these diseases are widely gaining more ground with each passing seconds and beginning to wonder now that for how long will it be before the monsters are tethered at least, if not terminated. In fact, the WHO is rather helplessly sending more of Zaka spread alert! [1],[2],[3]

Lassa fever, a deadly hemorrhagic arenaviral multimammate rodent excreta bred disease, is nonetheless a perennial endemic disease in Nigeria now as the current outbreak is not its first of reported incidence; however, it appears to be gaining greater momentum of widespread and fatality than ever before in its present recurrence. The virus was discovered in 1959 in Lassa village in the present day, Borno State, Nigeria, and ever since there had been occurrence of Lassa fever outbreak during the dry season, particularly around October to March, although many of the earlier episodes were not reported until lately in the 2000s. Surprisingly, Nigerians apparently are now not seen in panicking mood as was in the case of Ebola, their only concern is the staple food - garri - the fried cassava flour that the disease tend to rob them of now as news goes round that such food could harbor the vector's urine or feces which contains the virus; [4],[5] however, nonetheless, the government had for emergency purpose launched a public call center at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, to call any of the ten numbers: 097000010 to 097000019 from anywhere in the country for immediate response and medical attention for those having the disease. [6]

However, it is yet to be seen if the present measures to combat the disease including prevention, public enlightenment, de-rating, and the clinical management with the antiviral drug ribavirin will actually prove to be efficient considering the apparently gone-and-come-back episodes being witnessed now.

The onus then fall back on the development of a possible lasting solution to ward off these emerging series of plagues by the medical scientists, possibly finding their vaccines. Information or publications in this regard are welcome in the Sub-Saharan African Journal of Medicine.

 
  References Top

1.
WHO. Disease Outbreak News (DONs). Available from: http://www.who.int/csr/don/en. [Last accessed on 2016 Jan 22].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Zika Virus Disease Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases: Emergencies Preparedness, Response. Available from: http://www.who.int/csr/disease/en/. [Last accessed on 2016 Jan 30].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Disease Surveillance - Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Available from: http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disease_surveillance. [Last accessed on 2016 Jan 30].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Pandemic - Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Available from: http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandemic. [Last accessed on 2016 Jan 30].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Adejoro L. This is the Season of Lassa Fever, Bird Flu, Meningitis - Prof. Omilabu SA. Nigerian Daily Times; Saturday 30 January, 2016.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Available from: http://www.nigeriamasterweb.com/paperfrmes.html. [Last accessed on 2016 Jan 30].  Back to cited text no. 6
    




 

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