Words by Ingrid Pazderski
The Ebola Virus has put the world on high alert, and unfortunately, it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
The global death toll is now close to 5,000, with projections showing that this could more than triple by the end of the year. Whilst the bulk of these deaths have been in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the virus is very quickly spreading out of Africa. By early October, Spain had confirmed four cases of the virus, and the United States reported its first victim.
Thomas Duncan’s death, and now Nina Pham (the nurse who originally treated Duncan) infection, has finally sent a much needed wake up call to the Western world. New York’s John F Kennedy Airport has introduced a screening process for passengers travelling from areas known to be infected with the Ebola virus. And these screening processes are expected to be implemented in other major US airports.
Australia too has been directly affected, when nurse Sue Kovack admitted herself to hospital showing symptoms similar to the Ebola virus. Whilst Kovack, who had been working in West African Ebola clinics, tested negative for the virus, the scare gave Australia a shocking reality check that if left alone, Ebola is likely to reach our shores.
Aside from helping to stop the virus, Australia’s main focus now is to prevent the spread of misinformation. Remaining educated about Ebola and its effects is imperative in fighting the disease.