Ebola - It's Far, Far Worse Than You Thought


I happen to believe this is just another scare...

Ebola could kill a million people by the end of January, disaster planners warned this week as experts said the disease might become endemic and clinics started turning away victims.

The US is sending 400,000 home care kits with protective gowns, masks, gloves, chlorine and medicines to Liberia, the country at the centre of the worst outbreak of the disease, reported The Times.

The home-care proposal is based on a model last used to eradicate smallpox in Africa in the 1960s. However, the population in the region is three times higher than it was then and is now far more concentrated in dense urban slums.

Some experts fear that the outbreak, now six months old, may not be brought under control in the foreseeable future, but that the disease could instead become endemic.

"The current epidemiologic outlook is bleak," said the authors of a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. "For the medium term, at least, we must therefore face the possibility that [Ebola] will become endemic among the human population of West Africa, a prospect that has never previously been contemplated."

America's Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said there could be 1.4 million infections in Liberia and Sierra Leone by the end of January.

And the World Health Organisation, which estimated the number of cases in the next four months would reach "hundreds of thousands", also reported that the death rate from the infection, which causes haemorrhagic fever, is over 70 per cent, up from the 50 per cent figure it had calculated previously.

The alarming estimates come amid growing violence against health workers. Seven outsiders were killed in the remote village of Womey, Guinea, earlier this month after the team of medics and journalists went there to raise awareness of the disease. Their mutilated bodies were found in a latrine, reported The Guardian.

Police arrested 27 people in connection with the murders on 24 September.

Elsewhere in Guinea there have been riots by people who feared that disinfectant being sprayed in a market might have been spreading the disease.

Sierra Leone ordered all its six million people to stay at home for three days last week in a desperate attempt to bring the outbreak under control, said Macleans magazine.

Health workers went door-to-door, finding 130 victims who were then isolated. The government claimed that 85 per cent of the population now believed that ebola was real.

But in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, the charity Medicins Sans Forntiers reported that it was turning away as many patients as it was taking in at its 160-bed clinic.

The clinic, one of three in Monrovia, has seen 350 deaths in the past month, reported The Telegraph. Some nights, up to five people die on its doorstep.

The outbreak is the worst since the virus was identified in 1976 in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Ebola - It's Far, Far Worse Than You Thought - Forbes