Everyone remembers where they were when ebola was first found in western Africa and how the media exploded in a furor over how we were all going to die miserable and painful deaths as blood spurted from out from our eyes and we were all reduced to living zombies. Now that the initial surge of irrational fear, that was furiously flamed by the catastrophe-loving media, is over and done with, something more sinister is happening. The efforts against ebola are officially a year old and the sense of pervasive doom and gloom has been replaced with optimism. And while optimism isn’t bad, it’s leading to complacency and this is allowing the disease to make a comeback in African countries as nonprofits, medical workers, and governments start resting on their laurels before the fight is over.
After the initial success against ebola in both Africa and around the world (in terms of preventing it from leaving the African continent), it seems as though people have gotten lazy and complacent, endangering both themselves and the populations who still need to deal with this disease. Ebola is a virulent disease and preventing it is far easier than curing it. However preventing it means following the instructions placed down to the letter and any deviation from those instructions can lead to further infections and the disease spreading to new, untouched communities who don’t know how to deal with it. Unfortunately the rules in places for fighting ebola are stringent and unbending and it seems as though people are starting to chafe against them and take it upon themselves to break them and try to find shortcuts.
Last week, three doctors in Guinea were diagnosed as being infected with ebola due to a lack of care and ignoring of proper procedures. The fact that theses are doctors who are ignoring the proven medical advice for countering ebola is a worrisome trend that can’t be ignored. Medical professionals, whether they are from hospitals or from nonprofits volunteering, are one the front line against this disease and they need to show others how following the rules prevents further outbreaks. If this trend continues then there’s a chance that ebola might, once again, spiral out of control and threaten the entire region as it once did. Hopefully the rules, including those referring to funeral procedures, will be reinforced and followed so this disease can finally die out again.
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