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Ebola Outbreak Continues To Worsen
The outbreak of Ebola continues in Africa, especially in hard hit Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, and experts expect the outbreak could last another three to six months. Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden with the Center For Disease Control says that it could get worse before it gets better. Ebola is now in the larger cities, and Dr. Frieden fears there may be little they can do to control its spread. Over 930 people are confirmed dead in the disease that has now reached Nigeria’s urban areas. This has prompted the center to issue the first Level I alert since 2009. The Center for Disease Control says there are now 1,172-suspected cases. In the hardest hit areas, family members are putting the dead bodies on the streets. Despite earlier reports, the center says that the disease only spreads through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids.
The United States State Department has issued warnings telling travelers not to not go to the area. In addition, the state department has examined four additional hospitals in the United States to see if they are equipped to handle the outbreak should it come to the United States. Staff at the hospital in Marietta, Georgia, continues to treat two workers from the United States infected with the disease.
World Health Organization’s Director Dr. Margaret Chan says that her organization has launched a $100 million campaign to stop the outbreak that threatens to cause severe socio-economic disruptions and may spread to other countries. WHO is currently holding a two-day emergency meeting to decide if a global emergency should be declared. During the meeting, officials will discuss stopping cross-border travel to and from West Africa until the disease is contained. This decision can have huge socioeconomic impacts of the people that live there. The organization will also discuss the need for more healthcare workers in the area.
The Peace Corps has evacuated all 300 of their personnel in the area. When the organization left with all 340 workers, it was the largest evacuation of an area that the Peace Corps had ever conducted. The Peace Corps hopes that they can return to the area within seven months.
Doctors Without Borders has 550 people working in the area, but says that they do not have the resources to deploy any more people to the area. Many people think that the hospitals may be an area where many people catch the disease because of the poor sanitation conditions in them. Furthermore, medical workers are meeting with hostility and violence.