Update on Ebola


in Politics, Psychology, Science, Security

From The Economist:

“Body-disposal teams are credited with checking Ebola in Liberia. But such teams are often attacked in Guinea. Resistance is reported in over a third of prefectures.

At times last year it looked as if Ebola was under control in Guinea, the largest of the affected countries. But health workers have trouble finding the sick. Poor publicity campaigns make it less likely that they come forward. Many believe that foreigners are infecting them. The WHO is now hiring anthropologists to help co-opt local leaders.

Getting to zero infections will be harder the longer it takes. Heavy rains will soon make it difficult to reach remote areas. Health officials also fear complacency. America is pulling its troops out of Liberia. Others may follow. WHO officials complain of a dwindling budget. The jungles of Guinea hid the first case; as long as they hide the last ones, the outbreak is not over.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

. February 24, 2015 at 2:04 am
. March 21, 2015 at 10:21 pm

Pandemic disease
Never again
As the Ebola epidemic draws gradually to its close, how should the world arm itself against the risks of insurgent infections?


. November 10, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Learning Ebola’s Lessons — The Hard Way

I think about the widows and widowers, and all of those who have lost jobs, businesses, and the source of their livelihoods to Ebola. I worry about the thousands of children that have been orphaned by Ebola; the U.K. organization Street Child says that more than 3,000 Sierra Leonean children have lost both parents to the disease. Many of these kids have been taken in by members of their extended families, but they are often an additional financial burden when resources are scarce. Many of them are vulnerable to hunger, sexual abuse, and the stigma that continues to haunt them.

But this was hard to prove until Ebola struck. The virus stripped our health system, exposing it in all its nakedness. Our poor health system, low literacy rate and distrust between people who hold public office–especially politicians–and their electorate were key factors that fueled the spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone.

. March 13, 2016 at 8:34 pm

As Air Force One began its descent toward Kuala Lumpur, the president mentioned the successful U.S.-led effort to stop the Ebola epidemic in West Africa as a positive example of steady, nonhysterical management of a terrifying crisis.

“During the couple of months in which everybody was sure Ebola was going to destroy the Earth and there was 24/7 coverage of Ebola, if I had fed the panic or in any way strayed from ‘Here are the facts, here’s what needs to be done, here’s how we’re handling it, the likelihood of you getting Ebola is very slim, and here’s what we need to do both domestically and overseas to stamp out this epidemic,’ ” then “maybe people would have said ‘Obama is taking this as seriously as he needs to be.’ ” But feeding the panic by overreacting could have shut down travel to and from three African countries that were already cripplingly poor, in ways that might have destroyed their economies—which would likely have meant, among other things, a recurrence of Ebola. He added, “It would have also meant that we might have wasted a huge amount of resources in our public-health systems that need to be devoted to flu vaccinations and other things that actually kill people” in large numbers in America.


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