US Gets Wake-Up Call: Ebola Still a Threat

On the day before Christmas, the United States got a reminder of a danger many had probably started to forget: the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced a lab technician in Atlanta was being monitored for possible exposure to Ebola.

The CDC reported that the technician could have been exposed to the deadly disease when a test plate containing the virus was accidentally put into his workspace.

In that same report, the CDC also said that in June, it had placed 52 workers on antibiotics over fears that they were accidentally exposed to anthrax.

These safety lapses were a reason for concern, said CDC Director Tom Frieden.

“I have directed that there be a full review of every aspect of the incident and that CDC take all necessary measures,” Frieden said.

While the U.S. has been afforded the opportunity to forget about Ebola, the African continent has not been so lucky. While the situation in Africa, focal point of the worldwide outbreak of Ebola, has subsided to a degree, the threat is not yet over.

In fact, on December 24, Sierra Leone’s northern district of Port Loko announced a three-day lockdown of the district in a renewed effort to contain the disease.

“Port Loko will do a lockdown and a house-to-house campaign to find the sick,” said OB Sisay, an official in the National Ebola Response Centre.

The country has also banned Christmas parties and other gatherings where people might accidentally spread the disease.

According to the World Health Organization, 7,000 people have died from the Ebola virus during this latest outbreak.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.


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