Friday, December 12, 2014

Ebola Outbreak In Sierra Leone Went Unreported

Fox News reports:
Health officials in Sierra Leone fear a major Ebola outbreak may have gone largely unreported until now in a remote district where the World Health Organization (WHO) said scores of bodies piled up in a hospital. 
The WHO said on Wednesday that it had sent a response team to the diamond-rich Kono district following a worrying spike in reported Ebola cases in the district, which lies along the country's eastern border with Guinea. 
"They uncovered a grim scene," the U.N. health agency said in a statement. "In 11 days, two teams buried 87 bodies, including a nurse, an ambulance driver, and a janitor drafted into removing bodies as they piled up." 
Twenty-five people had died in a hastily cordoned off section of the local hospital in the five days before the team arrived. They found that villages scattered across eight of the area's 15 chiefdoms had been hit by Ebola.
The article indicates that up until now, that district had only reported 119 dead from Ebola. This one discovery means that only about 60% of deaths were previously reported--and how many other deaths were not reported?

The basic problem with what is going on is that the virus has had time and opportunity to adapt to human physiology. The potential is that instead of a short, hot outbreak that self-terminates, we will wind up with a disease that will circulate around in a human population for several years or decades until it develops a more efficient method of transmission, and then we will really have an outbreak to worry about.

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