Now A Suspected Ebola Case In Sierra Leone — That Makes It A Three Nation Outbreak, This 12th Time…

This was not entirely unexpected — but the latest Ebola flare up is now becoming a regional — rather than single country — concern. The best news is that there is a nearly 100% effective vaccine — and if people will step forward and admit to being contacts, or contacts of contacts — ring vaccination has been shown to work quite well at arresting the spread.

But there can be no arrest, until all the first-, and second-, tier contacts step up and get vaccinated. Even with several thousand doses of the Merck vaccine in-country this morning, we are still likely several weeks from having all those people vaccinated. And in the mean time, there will be more cases — as the virus finds new hosts — of that we may be certain, in these hard to reach forrest and mountainous locales.

So. . . this becomes a rather daunting moment, in the ongoing (but clearly improving) WHO and partners’ struggle against deadly Ebola epidemics. In 2014 to 2016, more than 11,300 lives were lost; in the most recent past one, that number came down significantly. From Relief Web, then — this latest disconcerting news:

. . .On February 14, Guinea reported 7 suspected cases of Ebola in the southeast of the country, in an area close to the Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone borders creating fears that it could spread wider across the region, with early reports of a new case already in Sierra Leone.

The first reported case was of a female health worker. This marks the first time the disease has been reported in the country since the end of the devastating West Africa Ebola outbreak in 2016 that left over 11,000 people dead.

This comes as there is also yet another resurgence of Ebola in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Cases both in Guinea and the DRC are in hard-to-reach areas. . . .

With up to six more inches of fluffy white snow due here as early as 1 AM Sunday. . . I am sorely tempted to get back on a jet (or anything smokin‘ really. . .) to the saguaro cacti. . . for a few more weeks. Grinning. . . .

नमस्ते

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