Skip to main content

Ebola - controlling it in Africa is key

This chart from the BBC demonstrates clearly the problem with Ebola and the solution.

ebola_cumulative_8_october
Ebola is, of course, a threat to everyone in the world. However, the chart demonstrates how Nigeria has kept tight control of infection whereas Liberia has been particularly bad at controlling infection (starting in 3rd place, but racing into 1st place).

It is important that we recognise that it is possible that an infected person from one of the infected countries (Sierra Leone, Senegal, Nigeria, The USA, Spain and Liberia) could come into the UK without us knowing that this is happening in advance.

It is, in fact, likely that an unidentified infected person will go somewhere else in the world. What is important is that we recognise what to do in the event that someone does come to the UK.

The key for people in the UK is the following (from the BBC):
Symptoms of Ebola include fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding - but these are similar to more common infections like flu and some stomach bugs.
If you have these symptoms and have had contact with an Ebola patient,ring 111 first. Do not go directly to A&E or a GP.
If there has been no contact with Ebola, seek help from 111, your GP or A&E if necessary.
The chances of developing Ebola in the UK are low.
The solution from the chart is to ensure that the countries in Africa bring it under control by isolating victims. Symptomless victims are not that infectious.  Furthermore the infection cannot be transmitted in the air, but only through bodily fluids.

The second case of someone infected in the USA demonstrates that it is health care workers that are most at risk as the greatest risk of infection arises when infected people demonstrate symptoms.  That is why in the instructions above people who might have Ebola are asked not to go to A&E or their GP, but instead to phone for help.   Obviously someone who has been treating a patient with Ebola is at a high risk.

We will see from Spain how effectively Spain copes with the infection of an Ebola Nurse (Teresa Romero).  Their initial response was not good, but they  have isolated now 16 people who had contact with her and initial reports are good.

100 people have already been prevented from travelling through the screening at departure airports.  Although most had Malaria this is an essential step.  I also support the government's proposals to screen at arrival airports.  This may not identify any more people, but even if it only identified one at risk person that would help.  Furthermore it adds to the education process for people to be aware that Ebola is a possible infection.

We also need to look at whether a small period of quarantine or independent monitoring of contacts before travelling by air would also assist in preventing the spread of Ebola from the most infected three countries.   The difficulty, of course, is dealing with people who are travelling via other countries and obviously also those not travelling by air.

Happily the government are doing daily monitoring of travellers from Ebola countries. However, they are only monitoring the high risk individuals.  They should monitor all for 21 days with daily phone calls or texts.  That way would pick up quickly any cases that were missed.  It is in the interests both of the traveller and the UK for cases to be picked up as quickly as possible.








Comments

Sacha Campbell said…
If I get myself infected with Ibola and hopefully survive the treatment to what extent am I then immune?... would I be able to then offer myself as a carer without any of the need for protective gear which alienates the carer from the patient.
John Hemming said…
Not an approach I would recommend with a 70% mortality rate.

Popular posts from this blog

Service launched to reduce the pain of calling a call centre.

Click here to try the beta test call entre phoning service"John Hemming, who has created an internet Startup called Cirrostratus since he ceased being an MP, is launching a free online service to make life easier for people phoning call centres.   The service is provided by Cirrostratus, but the SIP backbone is provided by the multi-award winning business VoIP solution, Soho66." John said, "Many people find phoning call centres a real pain.  Our service is aiming to make things a lot easier.   One click on alink or the bookmarks list and our server will phone up the call centre and get through all the menus.  This is a lot faster than when people have to phone up and is less irritating." "Additionally the system uses WebRtc and the internet to make the call. This means that people don't find their normal phone system being blocked whilst they hang on the line waiting to speak to a human being." Marketing Manager from Soho66, David McManus, said: &q…

A grassroots uprising against terrorism

Original Date 26th May 2017

One thing I used to do when I was the Member of Parliament for Yardley was to call together meetings of all of the religious organisations in Yardley as a Yardley multi-faith group.  In many ways it is the creation of informal links between people that makes communication easier even if there is no formal decision making power.

Obviously this is something I would intend to do again if the people of Yardley ask me to take on the responsibility of representing them in parliament.

It highlights the sort of thing that politicians can do which arises from a leadership role within communities rather than any constitutional position.

I have already written in an earlier blog post about the principles of resolving conflict.  It can be summarised as "murdering innocents is wrong".

A number of local mosques have issued statements following the atrocity in Manchester and I think it is worth quoting from parts of them.

One said that the mosque "Unequivoc…

Lib Dems would give the West Midlands police force an extra £16,220,000 a year

Liberal Democrats have announced they would boost investment in police forces by £300m a year. This is in stark contrast to the Conservatives who have overseen devastating cuts to community policing. Theresa May as Home Secretary and now Prime Minister has cut policing budgets by over £2bn, eroding the very fabric of community policing.

Under the Liberal Democrats the West Midlands would see a funding increase of £16,220,000 a year. This could be used to restore a visible policing presence in the community and ensure the police have the training and tools to deal with the changing nature of crime.

Liberal Democrat John Hemming commented:“This investment in our police is absolutely vital. Under Theresa May – first as Home Secretary and now as Prime Minister, our police have had to deal with severe cuts. These are now cutting into the bone.“Our police work tirelessly to keep us safe and this Government has completely betrayed them.“Only the Liberal Democrats have a credible pl…