The Most Worrying Thing About The West Africa Ebola Outbreak Is It Should Have Been Contained By Now

Monday, July 7, 2014
By Paul Martin

Chris Pash
July 7, 2014

The Ebola virus outbreak which started in West Africa in March should have been brought under control by now, according to an Australian infectious diseases specialist.

Sanjaya Senanayake, associate professor of medicine at ANU, says there appears to be a lot of movement by infected people which has helped spread the killer virus.

“The issue with Ebola is that in the past it normally is horrifically virulent but burns itself out very quickly, because as soon as it is identified people have been able to institute good health measures where the people with the infection, and those close to them, are quarantined and watched,” he says.

“Once the incubation period has passed and the infection has burnt itself out then that’s the end of the outbreak.”

But with this outbreak, that hasn’t happened.

More than 779 cases of Ebola and over 481 deaths have been reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since March, according to the World Health Organisation.

The deadly disease has appeared in cities as well as rural and border areas. Its mortality rate, at 60%, is lower than previous Ebola outbreaks which have killed as much as 90% of people infected.

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