Ebola Will Spread, America at Risk, Says WHO

The ebola outbreak in 2014 has health experts saying America may be at risk with the possibility that the deadly virus could spread to the United States. But what would this mean since there is not currently any cure for the ebola virus?

In a related report by The Inquisitr, the possibility of an ebola outbreak occurring in America caused specialized diagnostics kits to be sent to National Guard units for all of the United States. A global outbreak was feared after an infected American flew on two separate planes and a dead stowaway was discovered on a U.S. military plane. Two Americans who contracted the virus are returning to the United States, and even the CDC is saying the ebola outbreak will not be contained quickly.

As of this past Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed confirmed 909 cases and 485 deaths in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria, but the organization also suspects there may have been up to 1,323 cases and 729 deaths related to the ebola outbreak in 2014. Margaret Chan, director-general of the WHO, says the ebola virus “is moving faster than our efforts to control it,” and they believe even the United States’ ebola scare may become a reality:

“This is an unprecedented outbreak accompanied by unprecedented challenges. And these challenges are extraordinary. If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences can be catastrophic in terms of lost lives but also severe socioeconomic disruption and a high risk of spread to other countries. The outbreak is by far the largest ever in the nearly four-decade history of this disease. It is the largest in terms of numbers of cases and deaths. … It is the largest in terms of geographical areas already affected and others at immediate risk of further spread.”

The biggest obstacle in the 2014 ebola outbreak is the lack of a vaccine, nor is there really a treatment plan per se. The only treatment available to doctors is to provide supportive therapy, which means attempting to help the patient’s immune system while it’s fighting the ebola virus. Ebola symptoms can last two to three weeks and patients must remain in isolation until they recover.

The only good thing about the ebola virus is how it is transmitted. While the infected are highly likely to get sick, spreading the virus is not easy since it requires close contact with blood, organs, or bodily fluids of infected animals or people. This means America’s ebola outbreak risk should be relatively low assuming the infected are caught early and quarantined.

Still, even though Chan emphasized that the general public “is not at high risk of infection,” she also added this cautionary warning: “Constant mutation and adaptation are the survival mechanisms of viruses and other microbes. We must not give this virus opportunities to deliver more surprises.”

 

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Dan Mullin is an active writer and editor for the Pluto Daily who covered the 2014 Ebola Outbreak. Mullin attended the Wake Forest School of Medicine before leaving to pursue his lifelong science goal of allowing humans to live forever via a computer/brain transfer.