Ebola in graphics

Ebola in graphics: The toll of a tragedy | The Economist.

Ebola still barely rates among the continent’s big killers. Far more deaths are attributable every day in west Africa to malaria, diarrhoea and HIV/AIDS. But the spread of infections means that death rates are rising fast: from four a day in August to 13 now.

Should you be worried – no.  Statistically you’re much more likely to be in a car accident, and you don’t even think about that.  But Ebola is disrupting all kinds of things within the countries of West Africa, especially farming and trade.  This could lead to seriously destabilized governments.

The major problem is the lack of healthcare, the poor infrastructure, and the fact that these are really poor countries.

Besides the awful toll in human lives, orphaned children, and starving people, it is also taking a (much less terrible) toll on the Western world.  We are implementing screening at major airports, a waste of money since infected but asymptomatic people will be passed through.  We must spend hundreds of thousands of healthcare dollars on potentially infected people who end up not having Ebola, and we increase the fear factor through ignorant media  pieces by people who have no idea of the consequences of what they are talking about.  Some people have called for a complete travel ban, which would make things worse, according to health officials.

Hopefully we’ll soon have a vaccine or a treatment that can stop Ebola in its tracks.  Until then, wear your seatbelt.

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