Much Sadder News — From Africa — Our Cradle: Now Six New Ebola Cases In Liberia; Two More Deaths

From the truly transcendent and joyous news of yesterday — a space odyssey, likely some two million years after homo habilis first wandered about in Eastern Africa — to far sadder developments, in the state of affairs, in Paynesville, Liberia — this morning. We (as a planet) need to better protect our own cradle, people.

The story: yet another of the latest six patients, in the post May 2015 re-appearance of the Ebola virus, has died. This makes NewLink/Merck’s effort to prove out an effective safe vaccine all the more urgent — per The Gray Lady, herself, then — a bit:

. . . .Even though her name was on a contact list, monitors at first failed to detect that the woman had become symptomatic, according to Tolbert Nyenswah, a deputy minister who heads Liberia’s Ebola response system.

The woman, who was the sixth Liberian to become infected since May 9, was being quarantined in her family home in Paynesville, a city on the edge of Monrovia. Another member of the household who had been infected was removed from the home earlier. According to the health officials, all six of the Ebola patients were part of the same cluster as a 17-year-old man whose body tested positive for the virus before he was buried in another community a short distance from Liberia’s international airport.

According to health care workers, people whose names are on the contact list and are under quarantine are supposed to be visited daily by monitors who take their temperature and assess their health. Mr. Nyenswah said the woman had reportedly taken medicine to suppress her fever, and he ordered an investigation to determine “what went wrong with this case that somebody was on a contact list, that they were not picked up immediately.” He said monitors were being retrained to assess each contact’s overall condition.

“She was home, and the home was being monitored,” Mr. Nyenswah said. “People should not panic and be afraid”. . . .

It was July first when last we mentioned this unfolding human tragedy. If we can hit a 100 by 150 kilometer box, from three billion miles out, and do so over a period of nine plus years, and then retrieve the data at a KB a second, henceforth. . . we simply must find the will (and economic and scientific ability) to vaccinate the people living in poverty in our own cradle, against this dread curse. To do any less would be. . . inhumane.

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