We are about to witness a human catastrophe that could destroy large portions of a continent


The Extinction Protocol

September 2014AFRICA – Sometimes the artifice of writing — metaphors, historical comparisons, the just-so quote — fails. The Ebola outbreak in West Africa demands directness: We are about to witness a human catastrophe that could destroy large portions of a continent and pose a global threat. And the response of the world, including the United States, is feeble, irresponsible and disrespectful of nature’s lethal perils. American health officials and nonprofit groups are bringing back the same report from the region. In Liberia, the rate of new infections has probably already moved from a linear to an exponential curve. The same may be true within the next week or so for Sierra Leone and Guinea. The normal countermeasures for an infectious disease — isolation, case investigation, contact tracing — are increasingly irrelevant given the rate of increase. Local health care infrastructure, which barely existed in the first place, is…

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