Ebola: The Next Major Global Health Crisis

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According to the BBC, US medical official Thomas Frieden has said that the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is unlike anything since the emergence of HIV/AIDS at a World Bank forum regarding the crisis.

The outbreak has killed more than 3,860 people, including over 200 healthcare workers, primarily in West Africa.  As of Thursday, four of the virus’s casualties have been doctors.

Outside of West Africa, the health of a Spanish nurse, who was the first person outside of West Africa to contract the Ebola virus, has worsened. Teresa Romero’s brother has said that she is being helped for breathing and two doctors who have treated her have been admitted for observation.

Meanwhile, the European Union has proposed a system to evacuate international staff from countries affected by Ebola if they show symptoms of the disease.  According to the European commission, the evacuation system will enable patients to be flown to well-equipped European hospitals within 48 hours.  The plan is expected to ease the deployment of European medical workers to combat the crisis in West Africa.

The Nigerian government has said that a global response team of 200 healthcare workers have volunteered to treat patients in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.  Although Ebola has been confirmed to have claimed the lives of seven Nigerians, Nigeria seems to have successfully contained the virus’s spread.

At the Washington meeting, Bruce Alyward, deputy head of the World Health Organization, said that Ebola is “entrenched in capitals” of the most affected countries and that it was “accelerating in all settings.”  He further went on to say that world leaders face a great challenge as they work to communicate urgency without causing panic.

According to Mr. Frieden, the Ebola outbreak is one of the worst crises he has seen in his career.  “I would say that in the 30 years I’ve been working in public health, the only thing like this has been AIDS,” he said.

[via BBC]

Michael Rock | News Cult

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