With air travel, can it spread?
The international volunteer medical organization Doctors Without Borders has issued a chilling warning — that the deadly Ebola virus is “totally out of control.”
The Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with infected people and causes internal bleeding and organ failure. There is no cure or vaccine so infected patients must be quarantined to stop the rapid spread of the virus. According to the World Health Organization, an Ebola outbreak can result in over 90% fatality rates.
Bart Janssens, director of operations for Doctors Without Borders, said Friday that the international community must send in more resources to stop the current Ebola epidemic.
“The reality is clear that the epidemic is now in a second wave,” Janssens said. “And, for me, it is totally out of control.”
The outbreak has caused more deaths than any other of the disease, said another official with the medical charity. Ebola has been linked to more than 330 deaths in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, according to the World Health Organization.
The current outbreak, which began in Guinea either late last year or early this year, had appeared to slow before picking up pace again in recent weeks, including spreading to the Liberian capital for the first time.
“This is the highest outbreak on record and has the highest number of deaths, so this is unprecedented so far,” said Armand Sprecher, a public health specialist with Doctors Without Borders.
Previous Ebola outbreaks were brought under control within a few weeks or months at most. Ebola kills its victims so quickly the virus itself dies out and can be brought under control. When previous Ebola outbreaks were only impacting small areas, quarantines are easier to enforce and are more effective.
Doctors Without Borders’ Sprecher says he fears this time the outbreak will become “a regional health issue” that will not go away.
In April of this year, there was a scare in Canada when a man traveling from West Africa expressed symptoms of Ebola. The man’s test results were negative.
Clearly international public health officials are on edge and keeping an eye on the West African Ebola outbreak for signs it has traveled to a new part of the world.DONATE
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