Thursday, October 2, 2014

Unsurprising really

The news reported that a 40-something yr old Liberian decided in early September to join his family in the US as the Ebola epidemic is poised to explode further. He had no strong ties to Liberia, living in a rented room. He assisted his landlord's family to carry their 19yr old 7-months pregnant daughter to several hospitals but she could not be admitted as there were no beds. She died of the disease a few days later, apparently having caught it from a cousin who came to visit her at home-- now with all the information going around ... why the need for touch?? Dying of ignorance! I believe the man knew he was at risk and I was reading the outraged comments of Americans who are furious that he was admitted into the US to sponge off their health system. To which I say-- the world is interconnected-- you can't manipulate the system to be top-dog and think that it would not find a way to bite you in the backside at a later date!  Extreme poverty is responsible for the unwarranted spread of this disease... the variables that could lessen the terrible outcomes all have this as their root cause- from simple communication of health promotion messages and alternatives to dangerous practices, to lack of beds to isolate the infected from transmitting the disease.
I read of the UK Foreign Secretary -Philip Hammond considering the alternative to last-minute efforts - that of letting the disease run its course--- sounds cruel but what else can you do with such large numbers of people? If that would be the case, the world can expect hordes of the educated ones with the means to 'visit' friends and relatives in 'safe' countries by any means - I would certainly be considering that possibility if I were in their shoes!  In fact, I half-expected something of that sort when Sierra Leone announced their shut-down for three days! Truly interesting times we live in.

PS -- most amusing to see the Americans getting their knickers tied up in a twist... one faux-pas after another: from totally missing the possibility to an Ebola case in Texas -- the man's nephew having to contact the CDC in Atlanta  to forcing the man's family to stay in the apartment where he had shed bodily fluids, confusion about getting a 'specialist crew' to decontaminate the place (shouldn't they be moving the humans out??!) then the crew not being given permission to transport the linen he used. What will they do if there are more then 10 cases?

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