I have been watching the media speak about Ebola in West Africa and I would like to make a few observations. After being in East Africa for a while I know, from experience, that the health care system in these third world countries are barely functioning as it is. It is not possible, even in a better developed nation such as Kenya, to stem the tide of a large scale Ebola pandemic.
Right now, in the affected countries in Western Africa, we see that the death toll has surpassed 1000 people. This is just people that they know about. Yesterday, August 13th, the World Health Organization said that the true extent of the outbreak has been “vastly” underestimated. Even doctors, who take every precaution possible, are contracting the disease and some have died.
(What I am about to say is my private opinion so keep that in mind.)
1. Ebola cannot be contained now that it is in the population centers.
2. As panic spreads people will retreat to their rural homesteads and spread
the disease further.
3. Once it gets into ongoing conflict areas it will be impossible to send in
medical teams to help the victims even if a cure is found.
4. Once the epidemic reaches a certain point Sub Saharan Africa may be
quarantined and the virus left to burn itself out.
In the past, since there has bee no vaccine or cure, whole villages have been cordoned off and the disease allowed to burn itself out within the effected area. This has been the only effective treatment for this infection thus far. Right now, the world health organization has declared what many already suspected: the numbers of infected and dead have been vastly underestimated. The fact is that the affected countries never had control of this outbreak and down played the real extent of what was going on.
Like many wars, and this is truly a war, there is a window of opportunity when you can simply leave the conflict zone and sit out the horrendous events to come. I advise that anyone, who is in Sub Saharan Africa, make plans to leave before the size of this epidemic becomes so great that all forms of travel from the infected countries are shut down and it becomes impossible to flee. Once these countries, or perhaps all of Sub Saharan Africa, are quarantined you will have no choice but to ride out this plague as best you can in countries where the medical and economic infrastructures will collapse under the weight of the dead and dying. Make no mistake about it, this is going to get really bad and the only way to avoid it is to not be in the midst of it.
Perhaps a vaccine or treatment will be found for Ebola, but it may not make that much of an impact on the vast majority of those who have contracted this disease already. Due to the magnitude of the infection rate and the poor health care facilities of the countries affected, it may not be possible to ramp up distribution of any cure fast enough to get ahead of the virus. Much of the area of these countries are rural and difficult to access and even if effective treatment is provided it may not be able to reach the majority of the populace in time.
The point is: do not wait too long to take action. It is written,
“A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.”