By Mark Wachtler
September 30, 2014. West Africa. (ONN) The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is officially an epidemic. Soon, according to most experts, it will be a pandemic. Each day, world health officials confirm the 21st century plague is out of control and mankind’s efforts to contain it are failing miserably. One official admitted that the virus and its transmission is consistently 60-90 days ahead of the world’s efforts to isolate it. Now, countries around the world are quietly preparing for the worst.
The number of Ebola victims over the past 5 months continues to skyrocket. Image courtesy of the BBC.
For the past three weeks, while the world has been distracted by other things, the Ebola virus has been spreading. Below are just a random sampling of major announcements over the past 20 days that readers may have missed. We’ll put them in chronological order to give a sense of just how fast things are happening and in what direction they’re going.
September 10, 2014 – The Daily Mail produces government transportation contractors who reveal that they’ve been flying many more people exposed to Ebola from Africa to the US than is being reported in the American media. ‘A greater number of people exposed to the Ebola virus than the four publicly identified patients have been evacuated to the United States,’ the UK paper reported, ‘Dent Thompson, vice president of Phoenix Air Group, a private company contracted by the State Department to transport the patients back to the US says many more people who had an exposure event have been flown from West Africa by his company.’ Bill and Melinda Gates have donated $60 million to the emergency fund to stem the virus’ spread. One international aid worker in Africa told the AP, “It became clear to us over the last 7 to 10 days that the pace and scope of the epidemic was increasing significantly.”
September 10, 2014. The World Health Organization (WHO) announces that the number of Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has doubled in the past week from 31 to 62. The global health organization reports, ‘The following measures were recommended: standardization of the interventions for the prevention of EVD and enhancement of sanitary border control without impeding international traffic.’
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September 14, 2014 – Natural News reports that the US State Dept just released a public bid request to government vendors to provide 160,000 Ebola-resistant hazmat suits. The account quotes one forward-thinking US manufacturer who took the initiative to put out a call to all his fellow competitors to get ready to do their part in the fight against the coming Ebola pandemic. The Lakeland Industries press release reads, “With the US State Department alone putting out a bid for 160,000 suits, we encourage all protective apparel companies to increase their manufacturing capacity for sealed seam garments so that our industry can do its part in addressing this threat to global health.”
September 15, 2014 – The Daily Mail reports that the CDC confirmed one of its employees had contracted Ebola. The agency also released a six-page emergency action plan to every hospital in the US. The CDC warned that the virus is ‘out of control’ and ‘it’s only a matter of time’ before Ebola spreads to America. The report goes on to quote global health officials pleading for more help and warning that the spread of Ebola is out of control. ‘Doctors Without Borders President Joanne Liu said her organization is completely overwhelmed by the Ebola outbreak,’ the news report warns, ‘She called on other countries to contribute civilian and military medical personnel familiar with biological disasters.’
September 16, 2014 – President Obama addresses the nation about the Ebola epidemic. “It's spiraling out of control. It is getting worse,” Natural News quotes President Obama’s speech, “It's spreading faster and exponentially. And if the outbreak is not stopped now, we could be looking at hundreds of thousands of people infected with profound political and economic and security implications for all of us.” The independent news outlet dubs the coming Ebola pandemic as, ‘World War E’. They remind their readers about an Executive Order the President signed earlier this year giving the US government all kinds of authoritarian powers including medical arrests, quarantines and forced injections of experimental vaccines if or when a pandemic should ever enter the US.
September 19, 2014 – Three days after their ominous warning, Natural News reports that Sierra Leone just declared ‘medical martial law’. The outlet quotes an AP report confirming, ‘Sierra Leone ordered its 6 million people confined to their homes for three days starting Friday.’ Citizens are being urged by the government to spend the time checking on each other and turning all people suspected to be infected with Ebola over to officials. The report confirms that UN staff and US military are taking part.
September 21, 2014 – The World Health Organization reports that its efforts in Liberia have resulted in the addition of 120 new beds in Ebola-equipped medical facilities, bringing the total number in the country’s largest city to 360. Within 24 hours of opening its doors, the new medical unit was at maximum capacity. Officials in the Liberian capitol have been sending victims of the Ebola virus to penned-in holding tents where they are quarantined but receive little or no treatment. The report confirms that the US has pledged to build 17 more Ebola treatment centers in Liberia, each capable of treating 100 patients.
September 24, 2014 – The CDC revises its projected Ebola victims drastically higher, saying the world should expect between 550,000 and 1.4 million victims by January. Reports of the announcement also quote an emergency study by Arizona State University showing that current Ebola victims are spreading the virus to between 1.4 and 1.7 additional people. A number below 1 shows the disease receding. A number above 1 shows it is spreading and at what rate.
September 26, 2014 – A report from the BBC warns that the current Ebola epidemic has now killed more people than all previous Ebola outbreaks combined. The outlet quotes the WHO saying that the actual number of deaths may be as high as 20,000 by November. Giving a summary of the global response, WHO director general Margaret Chan announced that the “number of patients is moving far faster than the capacity to manage them.” Officials announce they’ve traced the current outbreak to a 2-year-old girl who died of Ebola on December 6, 2013 in Meliandou, Guinea.
September 28, 2014 – The Wall Street Journal reports that the global response to the Ebola epidemic in Africa hasn’t been large enough or fast enough to stem the spread of the deadly virus. ‘The epidemic is showing signs of gaining speed,’ the outlet reports, ‘6,574 cases have been reported officially as of September 23. Those fatalities are more than double the number a month ago. The actual number of cases is believed to be three or four times as high.’ “There is no argument the disease is out in front of the response,” one international health director told the outlet, “Where we are today is where we should have been 60 to 90 days ago.”
Will the Ebola epidemic really spread to the Americas, Europe and Asia? Nobody knows for sure. But based on the world’s response so far, as well as all the warnings from various experts and officials, that answer is yes.