This epidemic is unprecedented and has taken on a life of its own, completely out of control. WHO states the overall fatality rate is at 70%, a rise on previous estimates.
Total: 9,964 / 4,881
See notes for 19 October on Timeline Section
This is not just a health crisis but an economic and social catastrophe of gigantic proportions. Day to day life has ground to a standstill. It will take years for the countries affected to recover. Children have been orphaned and whole families decimated. Countries with an already fragile health care system find themselves with dozens of health care workers short, who have succumbed to the Ebola virus. It is estimated that 10% of Ebola victims are health care workers.
The level of desperation, that we have personally witnessed in such a tangible way, in the counties affected by Ebola, has now increased tenfold. As superstition rises, hospitals close and governments struggle to control the situation, a new level of desperation has emerged. Food prices have skyrocketed, schools remain closed and fear dominates daily life. It is a decimating force in nations with an already perilous infrastructure. Experts at the World Health Organization have declared the Ebola epidemic ravaging West Africa “an international health emergency”.