Ebola is a terrible disease. It spreads easily and shows little mercy to its victims. After outbreaks in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia between 2013 and 2016, in which more than 11,000 people lost their lives, there has been another spate of cases in the Congo, a country that had previously suffered the same. Ebola has a fatality rate of approximately 70%.
Medial personnel are currently fighting hard to stem the spread of this voracious killer. The disease is battling to widen its reach. When doctors believe that they have won in one region, the pathogen emerges elsewhere. It appears to be unstoppable in it’s determinations. It appears that the best they can hope for is to contain it. However, should Ebola, which is spread via body fluids such as semen, blood and saliva, manage to merge with a strain of the common cold, for example, then the results could be disastrous for the entire human population of this planet.
Similarly, should the disease escape the African continent in its current form, then the effects upon societies, such as those found in the West, would be substantial. It would not need a high number of cases to slow or perhaps stop our way of life. It needs only the fear of a pandemic to seriously hamper human interaction. Panic would ensue, shops would run out of supplies, and the racism and xenophobia that is currently on the rise throughout the West, thanks to the short-sighted foreign policies of the governments here, would see a wave of attacks upon migrant populations and racial minorities.
It’s a bleak assessment but realistic. After all, as a species we have been responsible for many pogroms and genocides and have not yet evolved sufficiently to prevent it happening again. Will Ebola eventually become the catalyst for yet another round of global blood-letting? Let’s hope not. In the meantime, spare a thought for the brave men and women who strive to end the horror that is Ebola.