BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The fight against the deadly outbreak of Ebola in Africa is growing but infections continue to grow, as well.
Alex DeMetrick reports even with more help from the rest of the world, public health experts say this is a war that will take locals to win.
Asked by the Red Cross to take a first-hand look at the Ebola outbreak in Africa, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health doctoral student Tim Robertson saw one thing clearly.
“There was a lot of tension between community members and international organizations,” he said.
While researchers in Maryland race to work on an Ebola vaccine, the World Health Organization is projecting at least 20,000 infections. There have already been 2,100 deaths.
“It’s bad now; it’s going to get worse in the near future. There’s still a window to tamp it down but that window is closing,” said CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden.
President Barack Obama says he’ll send American military to provide medical supplies and logistical support.
“It seems to me we definitely need more boots on the ground,” said Dr. Nancy Kass, Hopkins Bioethics and Public Health. “People who know a lot about public health and know a lot about engaging local folks in being partners in the solution.”
To seek help at the first sign of Ebola, not hide it away and for authorities not to engage in large-scale quarantines.
“Forcing people or punishing people rather than committing to helping them. The response backfires and if people feel threatened, they’re going to flee. And the last thing you want in this epidemic is people trying to escape, to run away. That’s how the epidemic spreads,” Kass said.
Two Americans infected with Ebola have recovered after treatments in the US. A third American was flown to an isolation unit in Nebraska. Doctors say it’s too early to tell if he will recover.
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