Are We All Sitting Ducks For Ebola?

While the global medical community struggles to figure out how to deal with any cases of Ebola that may reach their country’s doors, it seems that there is little action in trying to prevent cases from leaving the hardest hit countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

WHO (World Health Organization) has been blamed for its lack of proper action and protocol in its leadership in West Africa.  With some 4,484 people dying in West Africa to date and WHO predicting a possible 10,000 new cases every week being diagnosed, it’s certain that this illness is not under control.

“Ebola is a huge and urgent global problem that demands a huge and urgent global response,” reporters were told.

“Nearly everyone involved in the outbreak response failed to see some fairly plain writing on the wall,” WHO said of the outbreak and the ability of this virus to easily be transmitted outside of the borders of the countries hardest hit.

The UN has noted that WHO heads in Africa have “politically motivated appointments” and that is why this was so poorly handled from the beginning.

When asked why WHO didn’t act more quickly the response from WHO indicated that it was the fault of the office in West Africa.

“It’s the regional office in Africa that’s the frontline,” he said. “And they didn’t do anything. That office is really not competent.”

The gear alone to work with a patient with Ebola is frightening enough, let alone the procedures where one mistake can expose the virus.
The gear alone to work with a patient with Ebola is frightening enough, let alone the procedures where one mistake can expose the virus.

What seems more perturbing than this is that most countries are not prepared for Ebola.  Many North American hospitals, though fully staffed and equipped for what we’re used to dealing with, are not at all prepared to deal with Ebola.  Training on how to deal with it is currently being implemented.  That means that a lot of us are at risk.  One can only imagine going into a hospital for a routine procedure or for some other ailment requiring hospitalization, only to hear that a case of Ebola has entered that same hospital and the staff aren’t as prepared as they thought that they were.  Or, worse may be to find out that during a flight you were on, one of the passengers had come down with Ebola and everyone on the plane was possibly at risk.

Officials in North American hospitals have quickly discovered that they are frightened because they are not as prepared to deal with cases of Ebola as they thought they might be.  The virus has already affected several healthcare workers who were ill trained and equipped to deal with the total quarantine procedures necessary.  What was first thought to be effective, has proven to not be fail-safe and needs to be rethought as well as retraining of all front line healthcare workers.  That’s putting a lot of healthcare providers at both great risk and tremendous worry and fear in an already stressful career and, they have stated such in the media of late.

In what might be an unpopular and perhaps, drastic measure, one of the possible scenarios to keep this virus in check or at the least contained, might be to stop all flights out of the countries most affected before having each and every passenger produce a valid, signed document by the medical community that they have been quarantined for at least the incubation period of 21 days before they can board a flight out of that country.

If someone truly needs or wants to go to the countries most affected, it should be a requirement that they cannot board a plane out of it without having remained quarantined for that 21 day incubation period.  While it might put great hardship on some people in doing so, it would be prudent to warn all flights going to those countries that there will be a period in which they cannot return without the proper protocol having been followed.  It would then be their choice as to whether they choose to go or not. This action alone might not stop the virus from spreading but, it is certainly a step forward in working to keep the spread from filtering through the rest of the world like the wild fire it’s been in those countries most affected.

Why aren’t authorities stepping up to the plate with this type of measure, knowing that they mishandled this from the very beginning.  Does it take other countries also becoming hot beds of this virus before something is finally done that may appear a drastic measure but, one that might save thousands more lives?  Are we that money and power driven or, that politically correct that we can’t seem to put restrictions on some people’s “rights” to save other’s lives?

If you choose to enter the countries that are hardest hit, you are also choosing to endanger your own life.  That is your prerogative but, you don’t have the right to endanger other people’s lives with your choices.  There must be far more stringent measures put in place to help protect others who are simply innocent victims of both authorities’ lack of action and other people’s choices.

Something more has to be done to save this from becoming a world-wide epidemic and minimizing the deaths and stop us all from becoming sitting ducks for ebola.  At least, that’s the way that I am seeing things from my little corner of life at this point in time.

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