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Editorial: The ramped-up U.S. effort against Ebola is late but welcome

 
 



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Old 09-16-2014, 09:17 PM   #1
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Default Editorial: The ramped-up U.S. effort against Ebola is late but welcome

Washington Post - Found 51 minutes ago
By , WITH PEOPLE DYING in the streets of the Liberian capital, President Obama has at last ramped up the U.S. response to the worst outbreak ever of the Ebola virus in West Africa. The fresh surge of support announced Tuesday represents a welcome change of course. No one knows if the package ...
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Editorial: The ramped-up U.S. effort against Ebola is late but welcome
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:37 AM   #2
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Granny says, "Dat's right - it's all cause o' climate change...

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Ebola: ‘Consequence of Deforestation and Climate Change’
October 16, 2014 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service posted on its website an article that claims Ebola is a “direct consequence” of manmade climate change.
Quote:
The article also stated that the virus specifically threatens conservation efforts focused on ape and monkey populations in Africa, including Guinea, one of the countries experiencing an Ebola outbreak and where the U.S.-run Chimpanzee Conservation Center is located. “The larger conservation connection, however, is perhaps less obvious: Ebola appears to be a direct consequence of deforestation and human disturbance,” the article stated. “Outbreaks are linked to long dry seasons (a consequence of deforestation and climate change), during which there is scarcity of food in the forest and all the animals, including fruit bats, feed on the same remaining fruit trees, usually fig trees,” it added. “Human development, including logging and mining, road construction and agriculture, is increasingly cutting back on forest habitat and bringing animals and humans in closer contact, which can facilitate disease transfer,” the article stated. “Some even speculate that the illegal trade in apes may be the actual culprit behind the current Ebola outbreak,” it stated.


This photo taken Tuesday, April 19, 2011 and released by the conservation group Gorilla Doctors on Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, shows a mountain gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda

The article also referred to apes and monkeys as “some of our oldest living relatives” and said protecting animals being hunted for food is a “major conservation concern.”

The article has a link to a blog written by Estelle Raballand, director of the Chimpanzee Center, that said while the Ebola virus may be protecting some monkeys and apes that were hunted for food before the latest outbreak, the virus is now threatening fish in the Niger River, and some people are killing monkeys and apes, because they are seen as having Ebola. “While Ebola may protect some animal species from being hunted for bushmeat, illegal fishing is becoming in some areas a larger and more serious conservation issue. In some areas primates are also being targeted because they are perceived as carriers of Ebola,” Raballand wrote. “As the director of the CCC, I hope that more education regarding Ebola both in Guinea and abroad will help to put an end to some of the false information that is leading to panic and unfounded fear in Europe and the United States, and to the targeting of primates in some regions of Africa.”

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Ebola: ?Consequence of Deforestation and Climate Change? | CNS News
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Ebola Cases, Already Rampant in West Africa, Expected to Double Every 3 Weeks
October 16, 2014 - Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by The Heritage Foundation.
Quote:
Ebola’s devastating impact throughout West Africa—along with several cases in Europe and the United States—has garnered global attention, but the affected countries are now suffering from a hidden impact of the outbreak. Non-Ebola deaths are skyrocketing in West Africa because of the increased strain on an already weak medical and emergency response capability. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 8,000 people have contracted the virus and nearly 4,500 deaths have been reported in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The number of Ebola cases, likewise, is expected to double every three weeks, according to the World Health Organization. In an effort to get ahead of the outbreak in West Africa, the United States is deploying 3,000–4,000 troops. Yet, the overall international response has been slow and weak. The emergency deployment of U.S. personnel to the region has been stalled, in part, because of infrastructure challenges on the ground.

For months the affected governments and international NGOs such as Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières Internationalor MSF) attempted to get a handle on the outbreak. But the situation spiraled out of control, and previously fragile political situations become even more volatile. It was not long ago that war was ravaging several of the affected countries. A civil war in Liberia lasted from 1989 to 1997 and resumed from 1999 to 2003. That conflict, along with the related 11-year conflict in Sierra Leone, which claimed the lives of an estimated 200,000 people, has taken a serious toll on the societies and their ability to respond to emergencies. Many fear that if the outbreak is not controlled, political instability, once again, could plague the region. Controlling the Ebola outbreak and caring for those with the disease are national health priorities in the affected countries. But because of limited resources and a shortage of health workers, there are concerns basic healthcare services will become more limited for those with other medical conditions, such as pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

The situation is particularly dire in Liberia, where the healthcare system has been described as “collapsing,” with hospitals closing and medical staff leaving the country. Afraid of contracting Ebola, people increasingly refuse to seek treatment at medical facilities and are dying of common diseases. “Lots of people who don’t have Ebola are dying, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia said last month during a conference on the Ebola crisis at Georgetown University. “They are dying because they don’t have access to hospitals or a doctor center because those facilities are closed.” The limits of public health in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone underscore why an expeditious emergency response that can scale quickly to meet the affected countries’ needs—mainly hospital beds and trained health workers—is critical to controlling the outbreak. The sooner Ebola is controlled in West Africa, the safer the rest of the world will be, including the United States.

The United States and a handful of other countries have made serious commitments to combatting Ebola in West Africa, yet the response has been near silence in capitals throughout Africa. Many brave Africans work for international organizations helping to address the situation, yet African governments have been slow to make commitments. Hopefully this will change as the U.S. becomes more involved and provides necessary support. Cooperation will be necessary among international partners and Ebola outbreak-affected countries (along with African countries not currently affected) for what will be a long-term crisis, with lasting economic and social consequences, if the disease is to be overcome in West Africa.

Ebola Cases, Already Rampant in West Africa, Expected to Double Every 3 Weeks | CNS News

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