The Ebola virus crisis in West Africa is so hard-hitting that humanitarian organizations like the Peace Corps announced Wednesday that they are pulling their volunteers out of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea until further notice, according to a statement. The agency will, however, continue to keep tabs on the outbreak of the virus along with government agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of State.
The virus, which typically begins two to three days after exposure, starts out with flu-like symptoms, such as fever, muscle pains, headaches, throat pain, then progresses to nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. The liver and kidneys are then attacked by the virus, and at some point, victims begin to experience bleeding through their orifices.
The Ebola virus has no cure. The mortality rate for the deadly virus is high, and currently, although there are efforts in place to try to find a cure, no vaccine or drugs have been developed to prevent it.
Thus far, some 650 people have died as a result of coming in contact with the virus, according to Doctors Without Borders, the organization that delivers emergency medical aid to those affected by epidemics, disasters or conflict.
Experts are already predicting that the situation with regards to the virus in the West African countries will get worse before it gets better. “This epidemic is without precedent,” Bart Janssens, director of operations for Doctors Without Borders, a group also known as Médecins Sans Frontières. “It’s absolutely not under control, and the situation keeps worsening,” Janssens told CNN.
In addition to the Peace Corps pulling out their 340 volunteers from the West African countries, Samaritan’s Purse, an international evangelical Christian agency and missionary group have also recalled all of their nonessential personnel from West Africa, according to WCNC.
Meanwhile, as to when Peace Corps volunteers can return to West Africa to continue their humanitarian efforts in trying to treat the ever-burgeoning Ebola cases will be determined at a later date according to the agency’s statement.