Ebola outbreak hits world and internet (2014)

Athena Swords, Editor

In 2014, Ebola took the world by storm when the virus broke out in West Africa. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this ebola outbreak was the largest, most complex Ebola epidemic in history.

Ebola is a rare disease that spreads quickly through direct contact. It does not spread through the air though, only by contact with an infected animal (human or not).

According to WebMD, “The Ebola virus is a rare but deadly virus that causes fever, body aches and diarrhea, and sometimes bleeding inside and outside of the body.”

When the virus makes its way through the body, it damages the organs and immune system which then causes a drop in blood-clotting cells. This ultimately causes bleeding to become uncontrollable.

The virus began spreading in March through Guinea, then in Liberia and Sierra Leone. By August, the outbreak was deemed as an international health concern by the WHO.

On Dec. 29, the year-end totals declared over 20,000 infections and 7,900 deaths to the virus. The disease kills up to 90 percent of those infected.

No matter how serious the Ebola virus is, the internet still took over and brought the world memes to cover the situation.

On popular website 4chan, Ebola took over the feed. The Ebola outbreak brought us a new anime character named “Ebola-Chan” along with hoaxes about Ebola being “invented by white people” in order to gain the attention of those affected in Africa.

There were also song parodies made about the virus, including one set to the tune of “L.A.LOVE” by Fergie.

In October, the first woman was diagnosed with Ebola outside of Africa and the Madrid government decided to euthanize her dog, Excalibur, to eliminate the risk of the disease spreading further. 

The internet and animal activists went mad, demanding the Madrid government to leave Excalibur alone. There was even a Save Excalibur campaign to keep the dog alive. A petition was signed by over 402,000 people to save the dog’s life.

However, despite the internet’s best efforts, Excalibur was put to rest on Oct. 9, 2014.

The Ebola epidemic came to an end in 2016, but the spread of the virus lives in infamy on both the internet and news outlets all around the world. 


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