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Deadly Disease
Ebola Virus Reaches Sierra Leone

The Ebola virus has not proved as easy to contain as everyone had hoped. The disease recently crossed into Sierra Leone from neighboring Guinea:

The World Health Organization was notified on May 25, 2014 of an Ebola virus disease outbreak in Sierra Leone. Preliminary information received from the field indicates that one laboratory confirmed case and four community deaths have been reported from Koindu chiefdom. This chiefdom shares border with the current Ebola virus disease hotspot Guéckédou in Guinea.

The WHO also reports that the disease has spread within Guinea to a district previously uninfected, and is still taking lives in two already affected areas. The total number of cases has reached 258 (in Guinea and Liberia, and now Sierra Leone), with 174 dead. The WHO has deployed a team of experts to Sierra Leone in order to investigate the outbreak and take the first steps toward managing it.

When we last wrote, the containment procedures in countries bordering Guinea and Liberia seemed to be working. The world should be alarmed to learn that these measures have not been as successful as once thought; not only is Ebola a horrific and incurable disease, but the infection can be carried aboard an airplane almost as easily as across a physical border. As cases of the Middle East Respiratory Virus (MERS) pop up in the United States, we should be especially vigilant lest a far more dangerous killer travel here as well.

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