Ebola, real threat for Haiti and Central America according to Top U.S. general

Fears are growing the virulent Ebola virus may cross over from West Africa into the Americas, causing thousands to flee toward the U.S./Mexico border. Marine Corps General John F. Kelly, who heads the U.S. Southern Command, says, "There's no way you can keep Ebola in West Africa."


Kelly's concern is two-fold. The first is the inability of emergent nations in the western hemisphere to quickly contain an epidemic of this nature, so it could be expected to foment for awhile. The second is the monitoring of human and drug trafficking in the Americas and the Caribbean, which could conceivably import cases of Ebola. Kelly cites CDC statistics: 1.4 million West Africans will contract Ebola ". . . by January 2015, with a 52% fatality rate . . ."

In recent weeks the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. government have focused on suppressing the Ebola epidemic in the countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone by screening for the virus. But experts say the screenings are ineffective because human and drug traffickers work through localized criminal networks that bypass authorities.

Center for Strategic and International Studies Director Carl Meacham says Ebola ". . . coming to Central America and Haiti at this point is very small . . ." But the Pan American Health Organization tells ". . . the Americas not to underestimate Ebola and to be vigilant . . . at points of entry and throughout the health system."

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