Direct contact with body fluids such as blood and secretion entering through cuts in the skin or mucous membranes is the only mode of transmission of ebolaviruses. It is in this regard that the flu virus is more contagious because it is airborne.
However, despite the aforementioned, numerous Ebola outbreaks have been recorded since the 1970s. How exactly the virus spreads in a large area and infects many people? What are the causes of Ebola outbreak?
7 Reasons for Ebola Outbreak: Factors and Theories
The causes of Ebola outbreak are sociocultural, environmental and biological, and sociopolitical factors. Take note of the following:
1. Hunting and Eating of Bats
In certain African villages, bats are hunted because they are a primary source of food. Several studies have asserted that ebolaviruses live and replicate in several species of fruit-eating and insect-eating bats.
Ebolaviruses also infect non-human primates and other wild animals. These animals might have contracted Ebola from bats. Again, in certain African villages, these animals are hunted and regarded as bushmeat.
3. Funeral Rituals
A person who died from Ebola can spread the virus through several funeral and burial rituals. Some remote communities in Africa observe thorough cleansing of the corpses. Other people touch the remains of their departed loved ones. There are those who lay down beside the corpse.
4. Traditional Healing
Ebola can further spread by depending on traditional healing alone. The absence of proper medical attention means the absence of proper containment measures such as quarantining the patient. Traditional healers can contract the virus and spread it to other patients and people they encounter.
5. Lack of Awareness
The lack of awareness about diseases, alongside cultural and religious practices, can contribute to a disease outbreak. Some communities simply reject science and modern medicine. They refuse to follow established guidelines for preventing contagious diseases such as Ebola.
6. Poor Healthcare System
Without a proper healthcare system such as adequate facilities, competent healthcare workers, and healthcare programs such as insurance, treatment of Ebola becomes delayed, and containment measures are hampered.
7. Weak Governance
Weak leadership and political instability have also contributed to Ebola outbreaks. This weakness can be identified by the inexistence of proper infrastructures, poor coordination during emergencies, inefficient public health policies and programs, overpopulation, and lack of structures to facilitate good sanitary practices.