CDC Predicts Ebola to Infect 500,000
Ebola Outbreak, Out of Control
In late spring, we alerted you to the growing Ebola outbreak in western Africa. At that time, we predicted that this outbreak would last for months and would be the worst such outbreak we’ve ever seen.
Months later, it is shocking just how right the predictions in this newsletter were.
This Ebola outbreak has blown open. It is now threatening to collapse entire countries.
In Africa, the spread of the virus is out of control.
CDC officials are now forecasting that before this outbreak has run its course, 500,000 people will be infected. That will lead to between 250,000 and 450,000 dead directly from the virus.
Untold more may die from the social unrest related to the outbreak.
This outbreak and the toll that it takes is going to affect the world, not just Africa.
Nations on the Verge of Collapse
The Ebola outbreak has already brought Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea to the brink of collapse.
After all is said and done, these areas may not be proper nations any more. No government. No government services. A complete collapse of the healthcare system.
The power vacuum will be huge. The fighting over who will be in control in the aftermath will be intense.
In Liberia, only forty percent of healthcare facilities remain functional. Schools have closed completely. And the farmers have missed a growing season, which will have severe consequences in coming months.
In Sierra Leone, the government instituted a three-day lockdown to try to slow the spread of the disease. Businesses and government services were closed. Citizens were told to stay at home for the three-day period.
In that country, food shortages are already starting to become a problem. And many infected individuals are trying to hide their illness rather than seeking help for it.
As instability and panic continue to overtake these nations, more people will flee their circumstances. And some of them will be in the early stages of infection, carrying the illness into yet other areas.
New Orders for Airlines
One thing this outbreak has underscored is that, while Ebola is not airborne, it does spread more easily than you might think. Any contact with the bodily fluids of someone infected can put you at risk. Blood and vomit, but also sweat and saliva, are hazards.
The CDC is concerned enough that is has given new strict guidelines to U.S. airlines that they treat all bodily fluids as infectious. The CDC has also reminded U.S. airlines that they can deny passage to anyone appearing to be sick with a contagious disease that could infect other passengers.
If you are traveling while ill—which I don’t recommend—do everything you can to manage your symptoms and to keep you illness to yourself while en route. And don’t be surprised if you receive some extra scrutiny from airport security as well as flight attendants.
More U.S. Citizens in Danger of Exposure
The growing political instability in the region is heightening fears that the Ebola virus will make its way out of Africa and into other countries around the globe. Because of this, the U.S. is marshaling a response in hopes of securing the area and keeping the virus contained.
As part of the effort to stop the spread of Ebola and help to stabilize the region, 3000 U.S. soldiers are being deployed to the area.
That means more U.S. citizens at risk of becoming infected. To be sure, the military will have stringent testing measures in place. They’ll do everything possible to keep any soldiers who do become infected from spreading the disease.
But it is important to stay aware and alert about what is happening with the outbreak. Never in the past has an Ebola outbreak had so high a likelihood to spread outside of Africa.
Preparing for an Ebola Outbreak
The chances of a major Ebola outbreak happening here are slim, but they are not none.
To protect yourself and your family in such an event:
- Pay attention to the news cycles. Being aware of what’s happening is key.
- If you have a friend or acquaintance in the healthcare system, talk to them regularly during an outbreak. They’ll be among the first to know if the virus has come to your area.
- If the virus does come to your town or city, take extra precautions when it comes to hygiene.
- During a local outbreak, avoid public transportation. If possible work at home and keep your kids out of school until the danger has passed.
Our medical facilities here in the States are much better than those in Africa. If an outbreak ever did happen here and you feared you were sick, get to a hospital. That’s not a recommendation I make lightly, but under such circumstances, it can save your life.