There is a chance that Ebola has gotten a little closer to home today.
A West African woman working at a job centre in the Pankow district of Berlin has collapsed with Ebola-like symptoms sparking the emergency quarantine of 600 people. Having recently returned from West Africa she has admitted she had contact with Ebola victims in Nigeria.
The employment centre has been sealed off, with 600 people inside the Berliner Zeitung reports. They were held for several hours. Those who were established to have had close contact with her were taken to hospital and the rest of those held were released.
There have already been Ebola cases reported in Spain and Austria. A spanish priest, Miguel Pajares became the first person in Europe to die of the disease after he was transported from Liberia for treatment.
As an island nation we have a chance of avoiding Ebola, but not as long as people are allowed to continue flooding into the United kingdom at will. Just because someone doesn’t have any signs of Ebola today, does not mean they won’t show symptoms tomorrow.
With the technology we currently have a great deal of business can be conducted by video conferencing. Those from infected areas who do wish to visit the UK should be warned they face a lengthy isolation period before they will be allowed into the country.
You also have to ask about the mentality of someone who admits having contact with Ebola patients and thinks it’s okay to travel halfway around the world and turn up for work in the public sector.
If this outbreak is not brought under control very soon then it will arrive in Europe, and other western nations. Every single day that people cross international borders there is a chance that Ebola will cross with them. as the outbreak spreads and more and more people contract the disease the chances of an international traveller coming into contact with it increases.
God help us all if the person who does eventually spread the virus to the West is one of those that shows no more than the symptoms of a cold for three weeks. 21 days of spreading the virus before they become seriously ill and the penny drops as to what they are carrying.
Not all Ebola sufferers display the haemorrhaging that Ebola is known for early on in the incubation period. Even the mean incubation period of nine days could see the virus spreading for at least a week before detection.
Those countries with porous borders, such as the United States have to get a handle on immigration control. This is something that the citizens of the United States have wanted for a long time. It’s now imperative that those crossing the border be held for three weeks before being let loose into the community.
The DEA (Drug enforcement Agency) have admitted that Mexican drug cartels have increasing trade with west African countries such as Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and Mozambique.
From Voice of America:
Jeff Breeden, the chief of DEA Headquarters’ Africa section, says he has witnessed the growing trend himself.
“We haven’t identified specific cartel activity in Africa. We’ve identified Mexicans in Africa, and we know they are affiliated with cartels – we just haven’t put it together,” Breeden said. (My emphasis)
In the past, Mexican and South American drug operations extended as far across the Atlantic as West Africa, which served as a staging point for drugs smuggled north to Europe. But a growing number of joint DEA and local police operations in recent years have shown drug trafficking operations reaching farther east across sub-Saharan Africa.
“We’ve seen in the past several years heroin coming from Afghanistan, transiting both East Africa, South Africa, and West Africa, and a lot of that is destined to the United States,” Breeden said.
Breeden says Africa’s porous borders, under-trained law enforcement and corruption problem create prime ground for illegal organizations to operate freely.
Those drugs don’t travel alone, people are bringing them from infected regions to Mexico, others are then transporting them across the border into the United States.
I suggest that Jeff Breedon and his colleagues get off their ever-spreading backsides and ‘put it together’ as soon as is humanly possible because if they don’t it will be more than methamphetamine arriving from Mexico.
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Contributed by Lizzie Bennett of Underground Medic.
Lizzie Bennett retired from her job as a senior operating department practitioner in the UK earlier this year. Her field was trauma and accident and emergency and she has served on major catastrophe teams around the UK. Lizzie publishes Underground Medic on the topic of preparedness.