As regards Ebola

As regards Ebola – and other infectious diseases – this is a cusp moment, and Mike Osterholm has important ideas that must be taken seriously. This is a presentation he gave at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Link to the broadcast is below; scroll down for the audio.

This Ebola outbreak is spreading so fast, both in numbers and geographic extent, that it is likely to spread all across equatorial Africa, perhaps to India and beyond. The latest report (BBC) says mortality is now at 70%. Do the math for the great cities of Asia; think of the slums around the great cities of South America.

“Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director for the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the University of Minnesota told the Hopkins audience that the Ebola Virus is spreading faster than any effort to fight it.

“Now we have focused so heavily on fever for screening, in our clinics and so forth, what if somebody presents that doesn’t have a fever?” he says.

“He told the Hopkins audience that help must also be funneled to Central Africa as well as West Africa, since those most likely to get the virus move from country to country to find work.

“And there is no Plan B. There is no Plan B. How will we fight this if in fact this were to suddenly flare up in one of these cities, along the belt in Equatorial Africa,” he remarks. “What would we do? Could we fight it on two fronts? We can’t fight it on one front.”