While experts have released differing reports regarding the number of Ebola virus infections in the coming months, they agree that time is running out to prevent the disease from becoming entrenched in West Africa. They say the only chance the world has of stopping such a dire future from becoming reality is through a rapid and unified effort, to deal a decisive blow against the current outbreak.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the number of people infected with Ebola could rise to a staggering 1.4 million by the beginning of 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
But perhaps even more chilling is the warning from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) director, Christopher Dye, as reported by Slate.
“[I]f control efforts are only partly successful, Ebola viral disease in the human population could become a permanent feature of life in West Africa. The alternative possibility that we’re talking about is that the epidemic simply rumbles on as it has for the last few months for the next few years…Under those circumstances, the fear is that Ebola will be more or less a permanent feature of the human population.”
There is still a glimmer of hope, however. According to Reuters, CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden said the following regarding a solution to the Ebola crisis.
“Extensive, immediate actions – such as those already started – can bring the epidemic to a tipping point to start a rapid decline in cases… A surge now can break the back of the epidemic.”
Frieden added that he is “confident the most dire projections will not come to pass.”
Despite the CDC director’s optimism, the fact remains that efforts to stem the tide of Ebola infection have been stymied by various factors, both human and viral. Over 300 health care workers have themselves succumbed to the virus, half of whom have died. In addition, a good number of people don’t even believe Ebola is a virus; many have fled health care providers to avoid treatment or, more tragically, have attacked and killed those trying to treat them.
As of now, 70 percent of Ebola patients are dying, up from an earlier estimate of 50 percent.
The United States is among the countries that have given aid to stop the West African Ebola outbreak, joining Germany, France, Cuba, and China. However, the U.S. itself could be very vulnerable to the virus. In the event of a domestic outbreak, American hospitals would most likely face an inability to effectively dispose of Ebola-infected waste. It has been reported that waste management companies will not take materials used to treat victims of the virus, and point to federal laws mandating special containment methods.
Do you think the current Ebola virus epidemic will be stopped before it can infect more people in the U.S. and other countries?