4 ways you (yes, you!) can help stop the Ebola outbreak

Aug 21, 2014

Unless you've been under a rock, you probably know there is a huge Ebola outbreak in Africa. The biggest one ever, in fact. So far the news has been pretty gloomy, but you and I can help!

So let's start at the beginning: What exactly is Ebola?

Ebola is a remarkably contagious disease in West Africa. It's most likely transmitted to humans by fruit bats. They look like this:
Fruit bat possible Ebola carrier - Hello Handbag
Kind of cute, in a don't-want-to-meet-one kind of way.

Ebola first appeared in West Africa in 1976. This is not an old disease, this is very much something of our generation. According to the World Health Organization, symptoms of Ebola are, "sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat" (coincidentally, three of those are also symptoms of excess P90X workouts). There is no known cure, but some leukemia drugs have shown promise.

Here are a few things you can do:


1) Help the Red Cross map the Ebola zone using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. Find out more here.

Doctors Without Borders logo - Hello Handbag

2) Doctors Without Borders is at the frontline of this epidemic, and you can help get some very brave doctors where they need to be. While they can't earmark your donation for this Ebola outbreak, donating here will help pay it forward for the next one. 


3) Remember "trick or treat for UNICEF"? The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund is doing some incredible work in Liberia via mobile phones. It's very cool, very effective and very promising. You can help support it.

4) And last but not least, you can help by sharing the song "Ebola in Town" by Shadow and D-12, two West African musicians who wanted to get the word out about Ebola. With lyrics like "Don't touch your friend" and "Distant hugging... distant kissing... I said don't touch me!" it certainly gets the point across. And it's catchy! NPR calls the song "infectious" (no pun intended) (actually pun very probably intended). Share "Ebola in Town" via Soundcloud.

There you have it, 4 ways you can help right this minute! Know of any I missed? Please share in the comments and I'll tweet them out!

This post is part of the Treat Yo' Self Thursday linkup hosted by Treasure Tromp and Oak and Oates. I've always found that one of the best ways to treat myself is by giving to others. I feel better by helping, if you're with me give a holler!

Thanks to Wikipedia, the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and UNICEF for the images.

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