Despite my earlier post about the low likelihood of the Ebola outbreak in Africa spreading to Europe or the USA, it seems that this outbreak is different than past outbreaks. In a bad way. CNN reports an update from the World Health Organization and includes quotes from personnel that are part of Doctors Without Borders, who are involved in dealing with the outbreak.
Ebola outbreaks usually are confined to remote areas, making the disease easier to contain. But this outbreak is different; patients have been identified in 60 locations in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
It turns out that this outbreak is much wider in scope than past outbreaks, which could mean it is much more likely to spread out of the affected regions. Turns out that implementing treatment in the affected areas has also been a problem.
Complicating matters, these countries have major medical infrastructure challenges and there is a real sense of mistrust from communities there of the help that has been sent. In Sierra Leone and Guinea, WHO has said that community members have thrown stones at health care workers trying to investigate the outbreak.
The latest numbers, which change as cases are discovered, investigated, or discarded, are:
-Guinea has reported some 396 cases and 280 deaths
-Sierra Leone has 176 cases and 46 deaths
-Liberia reports 63 cases and 41 deaths.
For a horrifying description of what it is like to get ebola virus, see my repost of an article by Derek Gatherer from the Conversation. Scary stuff, but hopefully the outbreak will get under control and not spread.