Ebola 'out of control' in West Africa as health workers rush to trace 1,500 possible victims
Fear, mistrust of Western medicine and difficulties reaching remote areas mean hundreds of potentially infected people have not yet been found
yes: Like HIV, which is spread when needles etc are reused without proper sterilization (and disposable needles are expensive), Ebola in a hospital actually results in spreading it to medical personnel, family, and visitors.
When we had a cholera epidemic, we set up clinics at the local schools to care for them, but that needs running water to wash with.
Ebola is transmitted by coming into contact with bodily fluids of an infected person. It has no cure and as many as 90 per cent of its victims die, often from uncontrollable internal and external bleeding.
In traditional Africa, when smallpox affected people, often they were isolated in a hut and someone left food and water at the doorway....if they didn't get it, after so many days, the hut was burned down.
On the other hand, when everyone with the disease dies in the hospital, the locals recognize that it's no use to take sick people there. And when the medical personnel from outside are often of different races and cultures, it takes awhile to get trusted. Often small things make a person look crazy or impolite or excessively bossy, and of course there is resentment against colonial days.
For example, when Sister Patricia would come into a ward and see something she'd order a nurse to clean it up etc....and the nurse would turn to her with lowered eyes and say: Good morning sister how are you.
Because a visitor has to go through the greetings before they get to the reason for their visit.
Nor is this only in Africa: some smart Americans in the Iran hostage crisis many years ago used to do this to put off the train of thought of their interrogators, i.e. changing from western questioning to traditional discussions.
Another problem: cleaning the body for burial also spreads the disease.That means carrying the body home in a car (costs money).
A third problem: The people don't want to die among strangers, far from their homes.