The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa is not only the largest and deadliest outbreak in history, but it also garners a lot of quotes, some interesting, some dire and some actually quite inspiring.
In my second look at Ebola quotable quotes, I picked the following:
First in Liberia, where the World Health Organization (WHO) reported the number of new cases are increasing exponentially, Dr. D. Elwood Dunn, a retired African academic and former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in Liberia called the outbreak “a threat to international peace and security.”
He goes on to say, “Since the Ebola outbreak began making headlines worldwide a few months ago – the unfolding drama in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea with the decimation of large population segments, destruction of cherished human values, human insecurity on an unprecedented scale, including the absence of medical attention to non-Ebola ailments.
“Add to this is the potential that if unchecked, in time the virus could mutate, become transmissible and present a clearer and more present danger.”
Staying in Liberia, where the number of cases have exceeded 2,000 as of Monday, Liberian defense minister, Brownie Samukai offered a dire warning, “Liberia is facing a serious threat to its national existence. The disease is ‘now spreading like wildfire, devouring everything in its path‘”.
In the same vein, the EVD outbreak in Liberia has been compared to its long civil war as the gravest threat the country faces.
The head of United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Karin Landgren, “The speed and scale of the loss of lives and the economic, social, political and security reverberations of the crisis are affecting Liberia profoundly. Not only had there been a reported 1,200 deaths in the country from the epidemic, but also extreme testing of the Government’s still-weak institutions, anger and alarm among the public and setbacks in the political process.”
One Australian epidemiologist has harshly criticized the WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for what she calls, “inadequate health worker protection guidelines”.
Raina MacIntyre, a professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology at the University of New South Wales criticizes the guidelines, which recommend medical staff treating Ebola patients wear goggles and masks but not respirators due to the virus is largely transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids and not airborne particles.
MacIntyre states, “I have conducted the world’s largest randomized control trial of respirators and surgical masks, and it is concerning to me that we are dealing with a disease which has a fatality rate of up to 90% and yet we are not taking the most cautious approach.
“If our healthcare workers die we have no hope of controlling the outbreak. There has been no criticism of the guidelines but lots of commentary supporting them. But they’re playing Russian roulette with frontline health workers’ lives.”
And then there is British nurse, William Pooley, who caught the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone and was transported to London for treatment.
Mr. Pooley told The Guardian website of his interest in returning to the country where he contracted EVD.
“While I’m happy to be recovered and alive, there’s a lot of stuff on my mind with what’s going on back there,” he said.
“It would be relatively safe for me to go back and work there, and it’s really the least I could do having received all this amazing care and have people look after me and potentially save my life.
“It’s the least I could do to go back and return the favor to some other people, even just for a little while. The more help they get, the less chance there is they get sick.”
Thanks you Mr. Pooley.