Fruzsina Eördögh relays the bad news:
Ebola, which may well be the most terrifying virus on the planet, has killed 59 people in Guinea in a month in the first outbreak of the virus seen in West Africa. There are 80 confirmed cases so far and officials are concerned the virus has spread to neighboring countries Sierra Leone and Liberia, as a 14-year-old Sierra Leone boy who attended the funeral for one of the earlier victims is now showing signs of infection.
Other West African countries are on high alert:
Mali’s government yesterday warned against unnecessary travel to the contaminated area, after the health ministry held a crisis meeting and called on citizens to be “vigilant.” Liberia’s New Democrat newspaper ran an editorial in which it said there was an immediate need for increased surveillance on all border posts with Guinea. Many of the goods sold in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, come from Guinea. Ivory Coast set up a coordinating post in Man on the border with Guinea and will increase surveillance and run awareness campaigns, the country’s health ministry said. Gambia, an enclave in Senegal, is monitoring the situation, its health ministry said.
But Kent Sepkowtiz urges Americans not to worry:
While this sort of thing makes for frightening headlines and occasional dud movies (here and here for starters), Ebola and its related group of devastating infections will never become a threat to the US. The disease simply sickens and kills too quickly, plus anyone in the US with an odd febrile illness and rapid progression to prostration is placed into gown and glove isolation at just about every hospital in the country.