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Ebola poses risk in U.S.

Outbreak puts US at risk
Outbreak puts US at risk
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Two American citizens infected with the Ebola virus are slated for evacuation from Liberia to a quarantine facility at Emory Hospital, in Atlanta, one of only four of its kind in the nation, according to reports published by the Los Angeles Times and other media outlets in stories filed on Friday August 1.

Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, a doctor and missionary affiliated with the charitable and non-denominational relief organization Samaritan's Purse, have been infected with the virus and efforts to effect their removal should be complete by next week.

The current Ebola outbreak, according to CDC estimates, has killed over 700 people in West Africa, and the center has issued a travel advisory for the countries stricken with the endemic: namely, Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. One strain of Ebola has already claimed a Liberian doctor as a casualty in his attempt to combat the spread of the hemorrhagic virus, raising concerns for the safety of health workers attempting to provide care for afflicted patients.

"We do not have an effective treatment or vaccine for Ebola." Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, stated at a press conference. "The bottom line is that Ebola is worsening in West Africa." Frieden added that the CDC will be assisting in efforts within the affected countries to keep people infected with the virus away from air travel, and that protocols will be followed for any infected passengers who are discovered on commercial jets.

The severity of Ebola's symptoms, similar to other infectious pathogens, are marked for the intensity of onset, and may include diarrhea, sudden fever, vomiting, internal hemorrhaging, liver and kidney failure, nasty biological catastrophes humans have been coping with on a localized and grand pandemic scale for centuries, mechanisms of which include aggrandizement into legend within our literature.

For those who like their macabre information through the insulating surety of a historical event, John Kelly's The Great Mortality is an uneven non-fiction account of how the Black Death, a strain of bubonic plague, decimated Medieval Europe. Kelly's account of the rudimentary lifestyles of the average laborer of the era is eerily similar to contemporary conditions that afflict the rural poor within modern Africa still.

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