You're not nearly scared enough about Ebola

Let’s be clear: Absolutely no drug or vaccine has been proven effective against the Ebola virus in human beings. To date, only one person — Dr. Kent Brantly — has apparently recovered after receiving one of the three prominent putative drugs, and there is no proof that the drug was key to his improvement. None of the potential vaccines has even undergone Phase One safety trials in humans, though at least two are scheduled to enter that stage before December of this year. And Phase One is the swiftest, easiest part of new vaccine trials — the two stages of clinical trials aimed at proving that vaccines actually work will be difficult, if not impossible, to ethically and safely execute. If one of the vaccines is ready to be used in Africa sometime in 2015, the measure will be executed without prior evidence that it can work, which in turn will require massive public education to ensure that people who receive the vaccination do not change their behaviors in ways that might put them in contract with Ebola — because they mistakenly believe they are immune to the virus…

“Getting it,” in this epidemic, means realizing that over the next six to 12 months, these countries will needs millions of dollars’ worth of basic supplies, hundreds of highly skilled healthcare workers, including logistics supplies officers, and self-sufficiency for all foreigners (food, water, personal supplies). As the border blockades ending trade to these nations persist, food supplies for the population will also become acutely short, probably necessitating World Food Program assistance. Exhausted, frightened young soldiers and police will need their ranks replaced slowly with United Nations Peacekeepers or soldiers from the African Union.

And of course this list assumes Ebola remains confined in terms of secondary spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. If the virus takes hold in another, more populous nation, the needs will grow exponentially, and swiftly.

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