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Airlines need to help curb spread of Ebola

By Kantathi Suphamongkhon | China Daily | Updated: 2014-08-05 06:51

Doctors Without Borders have declared the Ebola epidemic "out of control." World Health Organization's director general Dr Margaret Chan, has said that the Ebola outbreak is moving faster than efforts to control it and if it continues on this path, the consequences could be "catastrophic".

The current outbreak of Ebola is different from all previous outbreaks. In the past, Ebola infections happened in isolated rural areas of Central Africa, remote from the rest of the world. Ebola victims were not jet travelers and this deadly disease was only a distant nightmare, never a real threat to the international community.

This time, Ebola has killed more than 800 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The virus has the petrifying record of killing up to 90 percent of the people that it infects, even though the current outbreak so far has a mortality rate of 60 percent. There is no cure for Ebola. The disease has now reached major urban settings in West Africa. In the past few days, an Ebola victim died in Lagos after having taken an international flight. From Lagos, flights can reach all parts of the world. Even though still seen as highly unlikely, a world Ebola pandemic can no longer be ruled out.

Airlines need to help curb spread of Ebola

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