Medical experts will contain Ebola threat


Although Ebola is a sinister, killer disease, there's no need to spread panic throughout the seven billion humans who inhabit our planet.

Highly educated, dedicated teams of medical experts are on the front lines of the fight against this treacherous illness that has reached epidemic proportions in four African nations: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Because some of the talkative heads on TV and radio are overly dramatizing the outbreak and spreading outrageous rumors, we might time-travel back to Franklin D. Roosevelt's ringing line during the Great Depression: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

The facts are serious enough, without being hyped: As of Wednesday, the Ebola death toll in Africa had reached 932, with 1,700 cases reported by the World Health Organization

Fear-mongering politicians trying to scare us with claims that the children being picked up after crossing the border with Mexico are transporting Ebola viruses, should have to take a geography class so they understand there is a wide ocean divide between Africa and Central America.

One fact that is often mentioned is that the Ebola viruses are not an airborne threat, but they are carried in victims' bodily fluids.

Patients are contagious only when they are actually sick, not during the incubation period.

A raging debate had developed by midweek over experimental drugs that might be used to treat two Americans who were flown to the U.S. after being diagnosed with Ebola.

Physicians are often guided by the admonition "do no harm," but the ethical quandary takes on a new dimension when the death rates are so high and there is no thoroughly tested antidote available.

Last week, the World Bank said it would provide up to $200 million for the West African countries to improve their chances of quelling the disease.

At a summit with 50 African leaders Tuesday, President Barack Obama promised $33 billion in U.S. private and public assistance to help build up African economies, and some of that money can be used to halt the spread of this horrific epidemic.

In late July, Peace Corps volunteers serving in the West African nations were swiftly evacuated.

Medical laboratories the world over must continue to try to develop a successful antidote or immunization product so that this plague can be fully defeated.

The American medical community is on high alert. If any other Ebola cases are verified any place in our country, isolation and treatment will be quickly activated.

Our scientists and physicians have been working for centuries to win the wars against dangerous bacteria and viruses and have been largely successful in most cases.

You can be assured that the Ebola menace will be brought under control as soon as it is humanly possible.


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