The Ebola virus epidemic reminds us that global travel and international communications are not always a good thing.
Furthermore, since epidemics of this kind often originate in the same Third World countries that routinely send us thousands of people - call this phenomenon "immigration" or more appropriately "invasion" -, the infectious diseases emigrate to richer nations with their carriers.
Last year, for example, a report by the UK's All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Tuberculosis, Drug-resistant tuberculosis: old disease—new threat, said:
The majority of UK cases are likely as a result from the reactivation of latent TB infection in people who were born in high incidence areas outside the UK.While cases of tuberculosis, especially drug-resistant, are increasing in the world and - according to The Lancet - "the worldwide number of new cases (more than 9 million) is higher than at any other time in history" largely thanks to the spread of HIV, in developed countries like the UK immigration is the first culprit of the rise in incidence.
The above-mentioned study by the All-Party Parliamentary Group reported that TB rates increased in only three of the 21 countries under investigation: the United Kingdom, Norway and Sweden. In all of them, about three quarters of cases were foreign-born. The UK had the third highest number of foreign nationals overall, but the highest number from a country with a very high TB incidence.
In the USA, last month Fox News disclosed that tuberculosis had spread and become a dangerous issue at both its southern border and the refugee centres housing thousands of illegal immigrants:
Dr. Marc Siegel, a professor of medicine at New York University's Langone Medical Center and a Fox News A Team medical contributor, said tuberculosis appears to be spreading through several counties in southern Texas. He told me that some counties are reporting twice the usual average number of cases.An earlier article had given a similar warning.
"Some of the tuberculosis that comes from Central America is drug resistant," he told me. "It's not easier to spread but it is harder to treat. I'm concerned about that."
And while TB is not that easy to spread, he warned that all those children living in close quarters could be a ticking time bomb.
"It is a disease that needs to be carefully monitored and screened for -- something that is not possible under the current circumstances," Siegel said.
In the video above this article, a map of the United States showing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quarantine stations is compared with another map of the country showing the places to which the illegal immigrants have been sent. They are almost completely identical.
It's not conclusive evidence, of course, but it provides a good working hypothesis to research on.
Now, the Ebola virus is spreading in West Africa. Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are among the most afflicted countries of what the World Health Organisation has called the worst outbreak of Ebola virus in history, with 932 deaths so far.
To put that into context, in the biggest previous outbreak of the disease 224 died out of 425 cases, and all previous outbreaks resulted in just 2,300 deaths. This epidemic, increasing since January, concerns the deadliest form of the Ebola virus, Zaire ebolavirus.
This means that one third of all the fatalities caused by Ebola since it was recognised as a disease 40 years ago have taken place in the current outbreak. And the number is increasing.
Some nations try to confine the population, but the countries in that region, as nearly all African states, have porous borders with large uncontrolled tracts - which explains why Boko Haram terrorists can cross the border with Cameroon, where they have created several bases, and return home for new attacks. After Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the first case of death due to Ebola was identified in Nigeria, a country located 2,000 km from the epicentre of the epidemic.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ebola virus disease causes high fever, diarrhea, bleeding, vomiting, chills, muscle aches, headache, joint pain, damage to the nervous system and other symptoms. The disease is transmitted through contact with the bodily fluid of an infected person directly or indirectly - e.g. by touching needles which have come into contact with infected bodily fluid.
The CDC has moved its operations to Level 1, with increased deployment of staff and resources. This is the first time the agency has invoked its highest level alert since 2009, then over a lethal influenza epidemic.
Christian doctors and missionaries treating Ebola patients for Christian charities - not many atheist charities involved in such task, as Dawkins' "rationality" doesn't seem to work in these cases - have died. But then we know that many of today's medical facilities were originally founded by Christians who acted out of a humanitarian impulse inspired by Jesus Christ.
In the UK, according to a union leader, border, customs and immigration staff feel unprepared to deal with people coming to the country with possible cases of the Ebola virus.
If you think that the USA is off the hook due to the provenance of its immigrants from Mexico and Central America, think again:
What’s more alarming, however, are reports confirmed by the National Border Patrol Council, or NBPC, and United Nations that some of the detainees apprehended attempting to enter the U.S. illegally are from Africa – where the Ebola outbreak is thriving...What is happening in Africa due to the Ebola is terrible. But what is there to gain from importing the virus to our countries?
In 2012, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime released a report confirming, “Central Americans are not the only ones being smuggled through Mexico to the United States. Irregular migrants from the Horn of Africa (Eritrea, Somalia, and Ethiopia), as well as South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, India), China, and other African and Asian states are being smuggled through Central America.”
“Border Patrol agents in our sector have in the past apprehended aliens from Iraq, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Israel and from many other nations,” Spratte continued. “People think this is just about Mexico and Central America, but it isn’t. People from all over the world are trying to sneak into the United States.