Is Ebola Crossing Borders?

Another American has been infected with Ebola. The deadly virus that recently took hold in rural parts of Liberia has spread throughout West Africa, infecting over 3,000 people and killing 1,552. Although this is not happening in America’s backyard, should Americans be concerned it will spread to the US?

The World Health Organization last week announced that the Ebola outbreak could grow to 20,000 cases and take another six to nine months to contain.

Ebola is no longer a West African problem, it is now a global problem,” according to the CDC director as he explained the deadly disease to the press.

Two Americans (Nancy Writebol and Kent Brantly) contacted the disease previously, and a third American doctor recently tested positive to the deadly disease. The American doctor got infected as he treated pregnant women in Liberia. Ebola is transmitted via the blood and body fluids of an infected individual who is extremely sick from the disease. It is also transmitted through the secretions of animals such as gorillas and bats.

The doctor immediately isolated himself and has since been transferred to the ELWA Ebola ward where he is doing well and is in good spirits,” according to SIM, a missionary group Nancy Writebol had been working for when she contracted Ebola in July.

The CDC director suggested Ebola is a much bigger problem for specific reasons. As people cross borders all the time, all it takes is one infected individual to travel to one of America’s airports, and we could be looking at an epidemic in this country. Ebola could potentially be a threat to the United States if it is not contained abroad. With the high immigration levels, it is difficult to completely ignore the situation overseas. It is recommended by public health officials to limit travel to infected areas until the disease is contained and no longer a threat to humans.

 Read more here- “Another American Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola in West Africa,” (Sydney Lubkin, ABCNews)

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Kyle Burgess is the co-founder of two social enterprises and has worked in strategy, communications, and program management for a decade. Kyle received her Master’s degree in International Relations & Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and her Bachelor's degree in Political Science from American University.

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