German virologist says world has lost Sierra Leone and Liberia to Ebola; should focus on containing disease

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
By Paul Martin

by: Ethan A. Huff
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A prominent doctor from the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, Germany, says the window has officially closed on containing the Ebola outbreak, apart from massive international assistance. Sierra Leone and Liberia, the two hardest-hit countries, have likely already been lost to the disease, claims Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit and other nearby countries could be next if appropriate aid isn’t delivered immediately.

Speaking to Germany’s Deutsche Welle (DW), Schmidt-Chanasit anticipates a regional pandemic in West Africa, one that could very well infect nearly everybody with Ebola, killing many of them in the process. At this point, there is really no way to stop the spread of Ebola in some of the afflicted countries, and containing it elsewhere is going to be monumentally difficult, he says.

“The right time to get this epidemic under control in these countries has been missed,” stated Schmidt-Chanasit to DW, noting that May or June, at the latest, would have been the cutoff time for possible containment. “Now it will be much more difficult.”

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