NO EARLY END IN SIGHT: A million people directly affected by Ebola outbreak
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/17/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Once confined to West Africa, the deadly Ebola virus now threatens every city on Earth with an international airport. The World Health Organization has given the world a most grim prognosis; there are currently one million people in the world today directly affected by Ebola, and there is no easy end in sight.
The latest figures have recorded 128 new cases of Ebola virus disease, as well as 56 deaths.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The latest figures have recorded 128 new cases of Ebola virus disease, as well as 56 deaths. Nations affected include Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. Between the dates of August 10 and 11, the total number of cases to has tallied 1,975 and deaths to 1,069.
"This is an extraordinary outbreak that requires extraordinary measures for containment. This is a severe health crisis, and it can rapidly become a humanitarian crisis if we do not do more to stop transmission," WHO director-general Margaret Chan said during a briefing in Geneva last week.
"Decisions to seal off the hot zone of disease transmission, that is, the area where the borders of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone intersect, are critical for stopping the reinfection of areas via the cross-border movement of people," she said.
"The outbreak is unprecedented in its size, severity, and complexity. Cases are occurring in remote rural areas that are difficult to access, but also in capital cities," she said.
Non-governmental organizations such as Doctors without Borders were finding it difficult to reach staff and supplies in isolated zones.
Chan also expressed concern over the "unprecedented" number of healthcare workers infected by the virus - 170 so far, of whom 80 have died.
On top of the threat posed to human life and health, the outbreak also has serious economic repercussions for the region. The outbreak threatens to push the affected countries backwards as airlines are cancelling flights and companies are moving their staff out.
"Six months into the outbreak, fear is proving to be the most difficult barrier to overcome... Fear, and the hostility it can provoke, have threatened the security of national and international response teams," Chan said.
In response, United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon appointed David Nabarro as senior U.N. system coordinator for Ebola which has been designated a "public health emergency of international concern." Nabarro will be responsible for ensuring the U.N. system makes an effective and coordinated contribution to the global effort to control the outbreak.
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