Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 27th 2014 Contents A29
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
FFears about the Ebola virus spreading
to this country are greater now that
New York doctor Craig Spencer has
been diagnosed with the virus. New York
is home to one of the largest T&T commu-
nities in the diaspora and an extremely pop-
ular destination for travellers from this
country. The question of cancelling or post-
poning Carnival 2015 is on the minds of
many and T&T Guardian columnist Mark
Wilson explores the facts about the virus.
"Too soon to say" is the usual answer. But
let s check the pointers. So. It s in New York.
As we know, that s one short stop from
here on the Global Express. On Thursday, a
brave doctor tested positive, after working
on the front line in Guinea up to October 12.
He was taken to Bellevue Hospital by trained
paramedics in hazmat suits. Should we panic?
No.Before he showed symptoms, Dr Craig
Spencer had travelled the subway, taken a
taxi, gone jogging and visited a bowling alley.
Because he was not yet symptomatic, he
would at that stage have been massively
unlikely to spread the infection. His fiancée
and two friends were in closer contact, and
are at risk, they have been quarantined.
By contrast, the Dallas patient who died,
Thomas Duncan, was initially sent home
after showing symptoms. He sat in open
Healthcare personnel hurriedly fixed gaps
in their hazmats. In spite of these errors,
Ebola was contained. Two nurses were infect-
ed, but after treatement they are now virus-
New York is better prepared than Dallas
What's up in West Africa?
More precisely: in Sierra Leone, Guinea
and Liberia? That is not good news. Ebola
is spreading fast. There s talk of the case load
rising to 10,000 a week, even higher. Health
resources are massively over-stretched.
Is that in itself a reason
to cancel Carnival?
Probably not. If the outbreak remains largely
confined to those three nations, other coun-
tries should not sit quaking in their shoes
for their own safety. They should concentrate
on sending help. And there s a massive need
for outside help---from Europe, North Amer-
ica, Cuba, China---anyone who can contribute.
The other thing for the outside world to
concentrate on, would be getting basic pro-
tective measures in place.
That means educating the population, not
stirring up panic. It means planning and
And it means making sure facilities are in
place---hazmat suits, isolation units and so
on. These aren t just needed for Ebola; they
should also be part of a strategy to protect
against any serious infection.
Is Ebola spreading to other countries?
Ebola is not raging out of control world-
The Nigeria outbreak is officially over, with
20 infected and eight deaths---one death per
20 million, in Nigeria s huge population. The
outbreak in Senegal never got beyond a single
The unrelated outbreak of a different Ebola
strain in a remote part of the Democratic
Republic of Congo is under control.
The nurse who was infected in Spain is
That s not to say it will stop here. There
may be another mini-outbreak in Nigeria.
They may be other sporadic cases in Europe
or North America. Each time round, the
health authorities will be better prepared,
and better able to cope.
Is T&T under immediate threat?
No. At the best of times, there is very little
travel to this country from Liberia, Guinea
or Sierra Leone. Now, with a travel ban in
place, there s less. There s a tiny chance that
someone who has been infected in Africa,
North America or Europe may travel here.
It s not a "can t happen," but it s a "probably
What if there's a major outbreak in New
York, London, somewhere like that?
Major outbreak? So not just a handful of
quarantined cases? That s very unlikely. But
if it did happen, it would change things. A
raging Ebola outbreak in Europe or North
America, with thousands of cases and a string
of deaths would carry a big risk. Those coun-
tries are on our frequent-flier list.
• Continues on Page A30
So, do we cancel Carnival?
Volunteers who will be sent to Africa in the next few days are taught how to work with
patients infected with the Ebola virus during a training session at AP-HP hospital Henri
Mondor in Creteil, a suburb of Paris. Mali's health ministry said the country had its first
confirmed case of Ebola after a two-year-old girl, who had recently been in Guinea, tested
positive for the virus. PHOTO: REUTERS
The question of cancelling
or postponing Carnival 2015,
because of the Ebola virus,
is on the minds of many.
PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER
Cream bassist-singer Jack Bruce has
died at the age of 71. The news of his
passing was posted on his official Face-
book page on Saturday, Oct. 25.
"It is with great sadness that we, Jack s
family, announce the passing of our
beloved Jack: husband, father, granddad,
and all round legend," Bruce s family
wrote. "The world of music will be a
poorer place without him, but he lives
on in his music and forever in our hearts."
The Scottish musician s publicist added
to Rolling Stone that "he died today at
his home in Suffolk surrounded by his
family." No other information has been
provided, but The Guardian has reported
that Bruce suffered from liver disease.
Bruce was one-third of the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame band with guitarist Eric
Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker.
Cream originated in the late 60s and is
best known for blues rock hits like "I Feel
Free," "Sunshine of Your Love" and
Cream bassist Jack Bruce dies at 71
Links Archive October 26th 2014 October 28th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page