EBOLA - so what's different?
In one sense it is no different to other diseases that ravage the people of Africa every year. In other senses it is very different
We have no vaccine as of today, 29th October 2014
Of the 10,000 people affected, around five thousand have died. 500 aid workers have contracted the disease and approx. 50% have died.
Despite significant First World medical resources, aid workers treating patients in Spain and the USA have contracted the disease. This has given us all a shock which time has really done little to allay.
WHO predicts the weekly rate of infection could rise to 10,000 by December, only five weeks away, and the mortality rate varies between 50% and 70%.
There is a belief that many illnesses and deaths go unreported in Africa.
There is a big chance that the disease will mutate, a small chance that it may become airborne.
In the grand scheme of things a few billion dollars should be able to sort it and finally most countries are manning up.
It is not clear that we have a sufficient number of volunteers.
It is clear that various Governments and US States have decided to politicise the issue with potential dire consequences for their own citizens.
Unless we treat the helpers better and support them, who in their right mind would risk life and limb?
It has become a test of character, courage and integrity which some important are failing.
Obama and Cameron to their credit have led from the front.
The Irish Government has suffered good days and bad days in their response.
The world generally has shown little gratitude to the medical personnel who have risked their lives for their patients and for us.
If we don't solve the problem in Africa, the First World doesn't stand a chance. It struggles to deal with isolated victims, how would it deal with thousands?
I am convinced that if our altruism does not lead us to solve the problem, our self interest will have to.
We are been given a few precious weeks to catch up on disease before it starts to lap us.
I am hopeful we can win and confident that we will win, but only with huge effort and resolve