The recent outbreak of Ebola has been spreading at a rapid speed, having taken over 4,500 lives to date. Islamic Relief is working with organisations who are operating in the region.

The current outbreak of Ebola was declared in West Africa in March 2014, and has since spread quickly and claimed over 4,500 lives. According to the World Health Organisation, since October 17th 2014 alone, there have been a further 9,191 cases reported in Guinea, Sierra Leona and Liberia. An additional 25 cases were reported in Nigeria, Senegal, Spain, and the United States,  as well as  68 cases in an unrelated outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the disease is endemic.

A health worker checks the temperature of a woman entering Mali from Guinea at the border in Kouremale, October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A health worker checks the temperature of a woman entering Mali from Guinea at the border in Kouremale, October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Ebola kills an average of 50 per cent of those who are infected by it. The first symptoms are fever and muscle pain, soon followed by vomiting, diarrhoea and sometimes internal and external bleeding. Those infected must be treated as soon as possible and kept in quarantine.

Corpses and burials have been identified as a major source of spread of the disease. Islamic Relief is currently engaged in an interfaith initiative to help promote sensitisation and safe burial rites in Sierra Leone.

Our offices in neighbouring countries of Mali, Niger and Chad are currently unaffected, but have started planning and assessments, in case the disease spreads further in the region.

We are intending to expand the initiatives we are currently working on, to include other preventative measures across affected countries. We will also work to support any livelihood and food security projects, as many farmers have abandoned fields as a result of the outbreak and there is a growing risk of food shortage.

Support our efforts to assist those affected, and to prevent the spread of the disease: Donate to our Ebola crisis appeal today.

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