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World View: Five New Ebola Patients Become Infected Every Hour in Sierra Leone

World View: Five New Ebola Patients Become Infected Every Hour in Sierra Leone

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Beach sands become an unlikely business opportunity
  • Turkey’s parliament approves military operations in Syria and Iraq
  • Five new Ebola patients become infected every hour in Sierra Leone

Beach sands become an unlikely business opportunity

Palm Island project in Dubai. These islands were created with some 385 million tons of sand. (Spiegel)
Palm Island project in Dubai. These islands were created with some 385 million tons of sand. (Spiegel)

The beaches of Cape Verde, Kenya, New Zealand, Jamaica, Morocco andother countries are changing from sandy resorts to masses of blackdirt and stones. The reason is that sand miners are harvesting allthe sand on these beaches and selling it. It is used in theproduction of computer chips, plates and mobile phones. However, thebiggest use is by far the construction industry. Global consumptionof sand mining is estimated at 40 billion tons per year, with 30billion tons of that used in concrete for the construction industry.Spiegel

Turkey’s parliament approves military operations in Syria and Iraq

As we’ve been reporting, the attack by the former Islamic State of Iraq andSyria (IS or ISIS or ISIL) on the border city of Kobani, Syria, hasresulting in hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing into Turkey injust a few days, and this has caused Turkey to completely reverse its Syria policy that it’s followedsince 2011. 

On Thursday, Turkey’s parliament approved a motion allowing, first,the deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq and Syria to fight terroristgroups, and second, to allow Nato troops and warplanes to base outof Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. The motion passed by 298 votes infavor, 98 against.

Despite the overwhelming vote, there was still vocal opposition.Turkish officials would prefer to be attacking Syria’s presidentBashar al-Assad, and Turkey doesn’t trust the Kurds, whom they wouldbe supporting against ISIS. Besides ISIS, the authorization extendsto another terrorist group, the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), whichwhom Turkey fought a civil war in the recent past.

Turkey’s defense minister Ismet Yilmaz hastened to say that “immediatesteps should not be expected.” However, I would point out that eventsare moving quickly in the Mideast, with major changes almost everyday, and now that the authorization motion has passed, the politicalpressure will be on to use the military. Today’s Zaman (Ankara) and Hurriyet (Ankara)

Five new Ebola patients become infected every hour in Sierra Leone

Ebola is spreading at a “terrifying rate” in Sierra Leone,with five new infections every hour. In Liberia, the diseasehas reached every county in the country.

As I wrote last month ( “18-Sep-14 World View — Will Ebola become a worldwide pandemic?”), it’s now likely that the pandemic will run itscourse in Liberia, and Sierra Leone as well, meaning that all peoplethere will sooner or later become sick with the disease, and eithersurvive or not.

There seems to be a fair amount of anxiety in America, sometimesapproaching panic, now that there’s an Ebola patient in Texas.

But there is plenty of evidence that countries with good medicalinfrastructures will be able to control any outbreaks of Ebola. InNigeria, for example, the country in Africa with the largestpopulation, someone with an Ebola infection arrived by plane in Lagosin July, eventually resulting in 19 confirmed cases of Ebola and eightdeaths. Some 900 people who were potentially exposed to theoriginal case and secondary cases were monitored for 21 days.The infection was stopped in Nigeria, and a similar process stoppedthe infection in Senegal.

The relevant methodology for controlling the spread of Ebola isand their contacts are located, and so forth, with the resultingpeople monitored for 21 days.

According to CDC Director Tom Frieden:

“Contact tracing is a core public health function. Wealways err on the side of identifying and tracking more contactsrather than less. Our approach in this type of case is to castthe net widely.”

The real danger, not mentioned by Frieden, is that Ebola will spreadinto a war zone somewhere, where it’s impossible to do contacttracing. For example, Ebola infections in Syria and Iraq would bevery difficult or impossible to control. Guardian (London) and Bloomberg

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Cape Verde, Kenya, New Zealand, Jamaica, Morocco,Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK,Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL,Incirlik Air Base, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal,Tom Frieden, contact tracing
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