Almost a week ago, the World Health Organization declared the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ebola outbreak to be a “global health emergency.” Since then, most have failed to take notice or just plain ignored the ongoing problem.
The emergency declaration came after a man infected with the Ebola virus brought the disease to the Congolese city of Goma, a highly populated transit hub with an international airport and next door to Rwanda. As it stands today, the current Ebola outbreak has surpassed 2,500 cases and 1,500 deaths concentrated largely in two provinces in eastern Congo.
The response effort has been hampered by a deadly mix of armed conflict, distrust, and lack of medical resources, according to a report by Tech Crunch. Less than half of the affected population trusts the government and Ebola responders and armed groups have even killed responders. Public health experts expect the outbreak to continue into the foreseeable future. So where’s the notice to the public?
Outside the public health community, there has been relatively little concern in America about the second-largest Ebola outbreak in history. During the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic, which also generated an emergency declaration, the public was alerted to the numerous health concerns that rapidly became global.
When determining the amount of attention an event should receive, public health professionals and news editors face a similar question: is this event significantly different from the baseline, or what’s expected? If so, the event can be considered an outbreak and demands the public’s attention. If not, the event would be considered part of the expected baseline and not enter the public consciousness. –Tech Crunch
If that’s true, does the lack of coverage mean people aren’t going to be susceptible to this particular story and ratings will drop? Most likely. Propaganda has been selling more than real news. Could the very outbreak be nothing more than fear propaganda designed to brainwash people into parting with their own money? Absolutely! In fact, Tech Crunch admits it:
For potential donors, the absence of fear and public attention is causing a shortfall in funding needed for response and preparedness efforts (e.g., surveillance, healthcare infrastructure) that can limit an outbreak’s spread.
If fear can be leveraged to contain the current outbreak and fund preparedness efforts, fear can also eliminate future Ebola headlines for the right reasons; because we eliminated the threat, not because it becomes an endemic problem. –Tech Crunch
But what we do know, is that Ebola is a very real and deadly viral infection. And there are steps that can be taken to prevent it from the preparedness community. We suggest you prepare yourself and don’t count on any government agency to help you. You shouldn’t ignore Ebola, however, you should prepare so that you are not living in fear of it either.
While the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have both expressed serious concerns that we are on the brink of disaster, border enforcement agencies seem blithely unconcerned. It’s really up to you to protect your family. This is a collection of some of the best information in the preparedness community to help keep you and your family safe throughout this potential pandemic. Checklists are provided at the end of the book to help you gather the necessary supplies quickly and efficiently. –Ebola Survival Handbook: A Collection of Tips, Strategies, and Supply Lists From Some of the World’s Best Preparedness Professionals