Office of Global Health Perspective Film Series Presents “Surviving Ebola”

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Office of Global Health presents “Surviving Ebola” as part of its Perspectives Film Series on June 18, from noon – 1 p.m. in MEB Auditorium 1200. Lunch will be provided for the first 50 or attendees may bring their own lunch.

The 2014 Ebola outbreak rapidly become the deadliest occurrence of the disease since its discovery in 1976. The current epidemic has killed five times more than all other known Ebola outbreaks combined. For the first time, the disease escaped the isolated rural villages and traveled through infected patients to densely populated cities. Surviving Ebola includes chilling first-hand interviews of what it is like to catch — and survive this disease.

The Ebola Epidemic
What began as a health crisis snowballed into a humanitarian, social, economic and security crisis. Under the weight of Ebola, already weak health systems in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone collapsed and the consequences of this epidemic were felt globally.  The world was forced to acknowledge the importance of global health awareness. Although the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Ebola epidemic over, it is more important than ever to identify the lessons learned, including how to prepare for the future.

Quick Facts Regarding The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Global Health, Ebola, and Other Infectious Diseases

– During 2012/2013, the CDC responded to almost 250 outbreaks and emergencies in 20 countries, preventing disease spread to the U.S. (www.cdc.gov/globalhealth)

– Controlling disease outbreaks in other countries is a necessity, not only for humanitarian reasons, but also to prevent diseases from spreading globally.  Moreover, U.S. support for disease investigations in other countries provides U.S. scientists with opportunities to learn about new pathogens.

– Ebola is a deadly disease, but there are others that are easily transmissible and pose a greater threat to society. Ebola is not known to spread through airborne transmission, but rather spread through bodily fluids.

– Tuberculosis – In 2013, nine million people fell ill with TB and 1.5 million died from the disease.

– Malaria- In 2012, there were about 200 million cases reported according the CDC.

– Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children worldwide. Every year, it kills an estimated 1.4 million children under the age of five years, accounting for 18% of all deaths of children under five years old worldwide.

– Vaccine preventable diseases that were once thought to be eliminated are making a “comeback” due to decreases in vaccinations – such as the measles outbreak in the United States this past spring.

Awareness, renewed surveillance, and management will be key factors in helping ensure that these diseases don’t escalate to pandemic proportions.