NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Health officials battling the Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa have managed to limit its spread on the continent to five countries - and two of them appear to have snuffed out the disease.Eight paragraphs in, a double (...may...be helping...) bank-shot obscuring of arguably the article's most salient fact: border controls work.
The developments constitute a modest success in an otherwise bleak situation.
Officials credit tighter border controls, good patient-tracking and other medical practices, and just plain luck with keeping Ebola confined mostly to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea since the outbreak was first identified nearly seven months ago.
Senegal did so well in finding and isolating a man with Ebola who had slipped across the border from Guinea in August that the World Health Organization on Friday will declare the end of the disease in Senegal if no new cases surface.
Nigeria is another success story. It had 20 cases and eight deaths after the virus was brought by a Liberian-American who flew from Liberia to Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital of 21 million people, in July. Nearly 900 people were potentially exposed to the virus by the traveler, who died, and the disease could have wreaked havoc in Africa's most populous nation.
Instead, Ebola appears to have been beaten, in large part through aggressive tracking of Ebola contacts, with no new cases since Aug. 31.
WHO, the U.N. health agency, called it "a piece of world-class epidemiological detective work." The organization is set to declare an end to the outbreak in Nigeria on Monday.
Nigeria had a head start compared with other West African countries: Officials were able to use an emergency command center that had been built by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to combat polio.
Border closings may also be helping halt the spread of Ebola.
You can't fault the authors for not knowing their story would be titled "AFRICA STEMS EBOLA VIA BORDER CROSSINGS, LUCK", but they should at least read their own copy. They've cited "officials" as crediting border controls first (at least in their listing) above this same sentence. Well, which is it: are said officials full of shit, or is the efficacy of border closures a mystery yet to be solved?
Worth noting how the success of "patient tracking" doesn't seem to give the authors similar pause, implying as it does the creation and maintenance of government databases and rounding people up--something necessitated in the first place by the introduction of the disease through the border. All in keeping with anarcho-tyranny.