The medical world can be a confusing place. Patients and their families might feel overwhelmed by the large vocabularies and complicated explanations they get from their health care providers. Students entering health care also struggle to grasp the complexity of health sciences, and are forced to memorize huge amounts of information. We hope to make understanding the medical world a bit easier. Look around! These videos do not provide medical advice and are for informational purposes only. The videos are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read or seen in any video.
Ebola disease is a life-threatening illness caused by the Ebola virus. In December 2013, a 2-year-old toddler died in a rural village in Guinea, sparking the largest Ebola outbreak the world has ever known (Baize et al., 2014). The outbreak primarily involves three countries in Western Africa: Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone (although there have been additional cases/deaths in other countries). As of early November 2014, there have been over 13,000 cases and almost 5,000 deaths, although experts believe that these numbers could be 250% greater as many patients never seek medical assistance. This outbreak is larger than all previous Ebola outbreaks combined, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) predicts the disease could spread to other West African countries, infecting over 1 million people by January 2015 (Meltzer et al., 2014)!