Saturday, August 16, 2014

We have to worry about Ebola virus

Good news is allowed here, but we also have to consider real threats, and Ebola is one.

There is current danger (among others) that Ebola will spread to Lagos, Nigeria. Lagos is a chaotic, thriving mix of 22 million people. Ebola there would be a worldwide problem.

You might have the impression that an untested drug can stop it. But it is that - untested and not known to be effective. Second:  The US and Europe are safe because customs agents at airports will see people with symptoms and deny them entry. Picture this: Your job is to watch hundreds of persons per hour arriving at LAX airport and spot the ones who have symptoms of a disease you have barely heard of. You - you are not a trained health-care worker, but a lowest level customs agent trained to check documents and luggage. Impossible assignment.

And, despite Dan Brown’s Inferno, the World Health Organization does not have a massive airplane and a "medical SWAT team” on standby to be anywhere in the world in six hours to bring a quick end to any biological threat.

Lauraie Garrett reports at Council on Foreign Relations.

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I am going to send a donation to Samaritan’s Purse. They have people on the ground in Liberia, the country hit hardest. (And have been there for 10 years.)

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