Traditionally, the Ebola virus has been a localized phenomenon largely because outbreaks have occurred in areas that were geographically cut off from surrounding population centers. But the latest outbreak of Ebola has taken place in Western African nation of Guinea and it’s killing people there at a rate of 60% with 400 victims succumbing to the virus so far. Ebola is a highly deadly viral disease for which there is no cure. It’s spread by exposure to bodily fluids including saliva and blood. Doctors Without Borders has issued a statement saying the situation is getting out of control.
With Ebola continuing to spread in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, bringing the epidemic under control will require a massive deployment of resources by governments in West Africa and aid organisations. AtMédecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), we have reached the limits of what our teams can do.
Ebola patients have been identified in more than 60 separate locations across the three countries, complicating efforts to treat patients and curb the outbreak.
“The epidemic is out of control,” says Dr Bart Janssens, MSF director of operations. “With the appearance of new sites in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, there is a real risk of it spreading to other areas.”
The war wracked nation of Congo has traditionally been where these outbreaks have occurred. With that countries poor infrastructure it was extremely difficult for the virus to make its way out into the larger population. With Ebola outbreaks in Western Africa, a more industrialized area with more infrastructure, the danger of widespread exposure is far higher.
The WHO has sent 150 experts to the region to help prevent the spread of the virus but admits ” there has been significant increase in the number of daily reported cases and deaths”.
Dr Luis Sambo, the WHO’s regional director for Africa, said: “This is no longer a country-specific outbreak, but a sub-regional crisis that requires firm action.
I’m not trying to fearmonger but all it takes is one infected person getting on a plane and flying to Italy to cause outbreaks in other countries and on other continents. This is no joke. It’s a very real problem.