While the mainstream media completely and utterly fails to report on anything of actual consequence (see the “debate” surrounding the USWNT’s 13-0 win over Thailand ), an outbreak of Ebola is currently raging in an active warzone (the DRC’s North Kivu) – an outbreak responsible for 1400 deaths. Recently, cases of Ebola were reported in neighboring Uganda, and nations such as Rwanda and Burundi (which are among the most densely populated countries on Earth) are on high alert.
The Ebola outbreak began in August of 2018, and shows no signs of slowing down. Militiamen and rebels continue to attack Ebola treatment facilities, motivated largely by mistrust of foreign doctors. Logistics are an extreme difficulty in the Eastern Congo, an area which saw brutal fighting between several different factions for much of the late 1990s and early 2000s over natural resources. Eastern Congo lacks basic government utilities, such as healthcare facilities, schools, power plants and transmission lines, etc – there is essentially no real government. This is seriously hampering attempts to resolve the outbreak – for example, despite the effectiveness of trial vaccines, distribution remains a major issue due to lack of infrastructure and the presence of violent groups.
Ebola is spread primarily through bodily fluids such as blood. As a result, Ebola wreaks havoc on families – as family members care for the infected individual, they tend to contract the disease. For instance, the recent case in Uganda occurred after a family attended a burial. Ebola’s fatality rate ranges from 50-70%, and survivors sometimes suffer a “Post-Ebola syndrome”, with symptoms such as muscular pain, blindness, and neurological problems. A worst-case viral scenario involves the Ebola virus mutating to a point where it can be transmitted via air (sneezing, coughing, breathing) – but this is thankfully unlikely.
A nightmare scenario involves Ebola in South Sudan. While there is a moderate amount of geographic separation between North Kivu and the South Sudanese-Congolese border, the rapid geographic spread of the 2014 outbreak demonstrates that mere jungle and harsh terrain may not keep Ebola at bay. Currently, South Sudan is in a state of civil war, as numerous peace deals have failed to halt fighting between the Dinka and Nuer ethnic groups. South Sudan has little medical infrastructure to speak of, and the nation has repeatedly faced the devastating potential of famine. Ebola traveling up the Nile – first arriving in Juba, then in Khartoum and Omdurman, and finally arriving in Cairo – is an unlikely scenario, but a horrifying scenario nonetheless.
Despite the President’s “America First” agenda, we must acknowledge that Ebola presents a legitimate threat to the United States and her allies. The deployment of security forces to treatment centers in North Kivu to protect healthcare workers must be considered. Above all, America and her people need to keep an eye on this outbreak. We can no longer trust mainstream media to provide us with important information – instead, they will “report” on Trump tweeting “Prince of Whales” rather than “Prince of Wales”. Information no longer comes prepared for us from CNN, FOX, or MSNBC – instead, we need to seek out information from trustworthy, scientific and rational sources, such as the WHO or the CDC.