Can The Deadly Ebola Virus Come To India

Credit: CDC/Frederick Murphy

With Ebola claiming at least 932 lives and infecting more than 1,700 people since breaking out in west Africa earlier this year, the World Health Organisation has declared it to be a “public health emergency of international concern.” The disease has no vaccine and no specific treatment.
Ebola would become a pandemic when it hits India. We are a poor country with health systems that are already stretched in the “season” of disease. Now, even India may be affected by the deadly Ebola virus. Scientists have warned that the virus could spread across the world from its West African hotbed within three weeks.
US researchers have calculated the odds of the virus spreading across the world using airline traffic data and Ebola spread patterns.
They estimate there is a 75 per cent chance Ebola will reach French shores by October 24; UK has 50 per cent chance by October 24, Belgium 40 per cent while Spain and Switzerland have lower risks of 14 per cent each, Mail online reported.
Over 3,400 people have died and 7,500 have been infected by the virus in West Africa, the epicenter of the epidemic.
Assuming there is an 80 per cent reduction in travel to the affected regions, the scientists predict France's risk is still 25 per cent, and the UK's is 15 per cent.
The study was published in the journal PLOS.
India therefore has no option but to pull out all stops to maintain a stringent screening regime at all points of entry into the country. However, while this is doable, there is no guarantee that an infected patient might not slip through .
Source: India Today, The Hindu

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