The NEWS (Monrovia)

Liberia: Ebola Is a Formidable Enemy

editorial

The deadly Ebola virus is sparking fear and panic in Guinea. The West African nation faces an epidemic as it battles to contain confirmed cases now ... ( Resource: Ebola Outbreak Sparking Panic in Guinea

Since Monday When the Liberian government confirmed the presence of the Ebola disease, our people have been panicking. They are alarmed because of the number of persons (78) who have been killed in neighboring Guinea in so short a time.

It's True That Ebola is a contagious disease, which without doubt, has the efficacy to cause havoc on a fragile population like ours. Already overwhelmed by socioeconomic troubles, the presence of Ebola is certainly a nightmare. So far, there are two cases confirmed in Liberia as compared to 136 in Guinea. We do not know what's going to happen in the coming days or weeks, but considering the rapidity of the disease from across Guinea and the reality that people of the two countries regularly interact and engage in commerce and trade, it's highly probable that the figure could rise in our own backyard.

Some Liberians, Out of fear, are suggesting that Liberia should close its borders with Guinea, just like Senegal did, while others, like members of the National Legislature, are considering the Lofa region an emergency zone. All of these overtures are fine suggestions, but certainly they are not the best to solve the calamity at hand.

We Should Not close our borders with Guinea simply because they are in a serious morass that has taken the lives of some members of their society.

According To The history of Ebola, the first cases of the disease were seen in 1976 in southern Sudan and northern Zaire, located 500 miles apart from each other. More cases occurred in Zaire in 1977 and in Sudan in 1979. The virus was mostly dormant after the initial outbreaks -- however, in 1989, a subtype of the virus caused a scare in Reston, Virginia, when four laboratory workers became infected from cynomolgus monkeys imported from the Philippines. (The Ebola "virus" is actually a group of four subtypes that are 30% to 45% different at the nucleotide level, suggesting that there are four different types of Ebola viruses.)

With This Background, we must be cognizant of the reality that Ebola is a formidable enemy that has the potential to cause serious problems. Therefore, it is important for government to put some money aside for preventive mechanism while we rally support from the international community.

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