A New Plague? Ebola Outbreak 'Out of Control'

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

A pharmacist searches for drugs in a pharmacy in Lagos on July 26, 2014. (PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/Getty)

As the Ebola threat looms ever larger over West Africa, what are the first lines of defense in detecting and containing the spread? There's plastic gloves, masks, and protective suits for the individual, hospital walls guarding the community, and roads and airports protecting the country. The last line of defense? International borderlines.

But what happens when those shields are porous?

"With intercontinental flights, all you needs is a flight to the U.S. or to Europe so that you have a world crisis, a total crisis," Senegalese President Macky Sall said yesterday at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.

 The disease has not spread north to Senegal, but much of West Africa has come under a region-wide lock down in recent weeks as the deadliest Ebola outbreak on record continues to spread.

British Airways has suspended flights to Sierra Leone and Liberia, and Peace Corps volunteers in the region have evacuated. The Sierra Leonean government announced it will deploy 750 soldiers throughout the country to enforce the isolation of infected patients. And the World Health Organization convenes today to determine whether the outbreak is an international crisis. 

Yesterday, the second American infected with the virus landed in Atlanta for an experimental treatment. But in America's highly protective, well-guarded system, an Ebola outbreak is highly unlikely.

But with more than 1,600 reported cases, Richard Preston, a writer for The New Yorker and author of "The Hot Zone," a book about the origins of Ebola, says the situation in West Africa is starting to become "out of control" and look distinctly medieval.

Guests:

Richard Preston

Produced by:

Allie Ferguson

Editors:

T.J. Raphael

Comments [4]

Me from earth

Really Thetakeaway ?

The best interview you could do on this subject, was the author of a sensationalist book, speaking of things he's "heard about", but not witnessed first hand ?

Shoddy work doesn't begin to describe this.

Alarmist radio 101.

Trying to top the '30's "War of the World's" broadcast ?

Aug. 06 2014 06:42 PM
sharon from Charlotte

Head of CDC has been quoted as saying he would not be concerned about sitting next to an Ebola patient while flying--that transmissions is extremely difficult. But today's guest tells us how Ebola can be contracted through a tiny virus particle landing on an eyelid and thus getting into the fluid in the eye. Could everyone please get their stories straight!

Aug. 06 2014 03:43 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Funny. I read that Ebola works the same way as AIDS, but it doesn't take 10-15 years to develop, but a few days. We didn't get the message of AIDS at all, so now we have Ebola.

Aug. 06 2014 10:29 AM
Michelangelo from Miami FL

Since no one reads The New Yorker (or the Andromeda Strain), The Takeaway has made it their mission to get this Preston guy on the air to scare whoever isn't yet in the fetal position from Ebola Media Madness. This syndrome has apparently taken more lives than Ebola virus itself. Apparently.

Aug. 06 2014 09:32 AM

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