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Aid agency Oxfam says Ebola could become the "definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation." Do you agree?

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As we see the virus is spreading From one continent to now three. Lax containment and incomplete understanding on the transmission methods. Unless we gain control of this more continents will report cases.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What another ridiculous question.

How on Earth do we know whether Ebola could become the definitive human disaster or not?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

How can I agree or disagree? The word "could" means nothing. It could rain mext week, couldn't it? But there is no way of knowing until next week. In the last decade we have had many deadly disasters which have killed tens of thousands of people, yet none of them have been called "definitive humanitarian disasters." Oxfam is obviously looking for funding, which is fine by me, but their strategy in this case is a little disingenuous.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

There is nothing like a good pandemic, but this idea unsurprisingly does not get much positive attention. For instance various economists, anthropologists and biologists have written that maybe 80% decrease or more of the human population is necessary to reach any kind of sustainable level. Needless to say, this idea does not get much attention either. I has happened occasionally: eg. Irish famine 170 years ago, black death (bubonic plague) 670 years ago which was a true Eurasian crisis before any of those fleas reached western Europe which is what people most often hear about, smallpox and other diseases in America causing maybe 90% attrition though indigenous population drop was filled by immigrants and their descendants, Spanish flu in 1918-19, though it killed off only 5% of the world population which is pretty normal for a flu pandemic anyway.

Ebola is highly contagious and fast. Even the flu is not as virulent. It may mutate and probably already has. And everyone needs their low cost air tickets giving Ebola and anything else a free ride around the world. An ebola scare even reached Cairns on the Great Barrier Reef and everyone went mad. Same thing would happen here, I'd reckon. It reminds me of when I left Shikoku for Kanto in 1986, lots of people accused me of having AIDS: I had been in Tokushima, but it was reported that a woman from Kochi had contracted AIDS from her Greek ex-husband and died there and therefore, because I was coming from Shikoku and gaijin, I was a health risk.

Scenarios are frequently seen in movies and Discovery Channel documentaries, etc., so it is not as if people should be surprised. Sadly, I cannot get emotional about it all yet. However, I do think that ebola is currently the best bet as a cause to see the shallowness and immaturity of some people on the one hand and the resilience and unselfishness of (other) people on the other.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

For instance various economists, anthropologists and biologists have written that maybe 80% decrease or more of the human population is necessary to reach any kind of sustainable level.

I think very few of these experts are willing to live simply themselves, so how can we believe them?

Human population is sustaining itself now. If not, we would see massive decreases. Haven't, so don't know our limits yet.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

the "definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation."

Why are we so blind to war, that enormous, flatulent elephant in the room?

Because it's good for business?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Yes, but for that very reason it could also become the definitive episode of international cooperation and humanitarian success. Starting now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I remember back in 1983 when AIDS first came to the forefront of the public eye, people thought the same, nothing to worry about and it's a gay disease and look what happened. After Ryan White contracted the disease, people panicked and realized that ANYONE can get the disease. It completely changed everything how we look at AIDS. I think there is very good reason to be concerned and to be vigilant. We still don't know how contagious or even if the virus can be transmitted through airborne means. There is a lot to be learned.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

No! Although a serious disaster and disaster which would worsen if it ever became airborne but every year more than 500,000 people die from malaria.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

No! Although a serious disaster and disaster which would worsen if it ever became airborne but every year more than 500,000 people die from malaria.

Sorry, doesn't mean it can't mutate or get worse or become airborne, it's in a different environment now, of course it can. Thinking it wouldn't would be considered totally ignorance.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

bass4funk

Sorry, doesn't mean it can't mutate or get worse or become airborne, it's in a different environment now, of course it can. Thinking it wouldn't would be considered totally ignorance.

You rubbish yourself because i didn't say that. I said currently, Ebola isn't an airborne virus, like SARS but if it becomes one then it be will be thousands of times more deadly, But at the moment it isn't and many more people are dying from other illness and disasters than the Ebola victims. Ebola is a terrible way to die but death only comes once to everyone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

bass4funk

Sorry, doesn't mean it can't mutate or get worse or become airborne, it's in a different environment now, of course it can. Thinking it wouldn't would be considered totally ignorance.

I didn't say that. I said currently, Ebola isn't an airborne virus, like SARS but if it becomes one then it be will be thousands of times more deadly, But at the moment it isn't and many more people are dying from other illness and disasters than the Ebola victims. Ebola is a terrible way to die but death only comes once to everyone."

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Here in the states, many medical "experts" are saying that we should be far more concerned with the tens of thousands who die of the flu each year. They say there is no ebola epidemic, but an epidemic of fear about ebola due to misinformation.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

More people die each year from the flu than all of the deaths attributed to ebola ever. So, stop worrying about ebola and get a flu shot.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

inshikokuOCT. 20, 2014 - 10:13AM JST Ebola is highly contagious and fast.

Ebola is not the latter because it is not the former.

Ebola is transmitted by contact with bodily fluids only. So, unless you're on a transoceanic flight with someone in the advanced stages of the disease and he vomits on you, yes, you are likely to contract the disease. Otherwise, it is not contagious in the same way as serious airborne illnesses such as TB or the flu.

To date, the only non-West Africans to contract the disease have been medical professionals who somehow mishandled the bodily fluids of the someone in the advance stages of the disease.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As many have stated, various flu strains can be as deadly and more easily transmitted than Ebola (remember the Spanish flu of 1914?). Also, many of the old infectous deseases are making a comeback and are much more anti-bacterial resistent than their predecessors, tubercluosis for one. And let's not forget the anti-bacterial resistant staff infections that are bred in the very hospitals that treat us for common illnesses.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think it's HIV/AIDS and that is very preventable.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Like Sangetsu pointed out, the word "could' eliminates any sort of definitive discussion. I clicked on "Yes" because it "COULD" happen, but that doesn't mean it is a foregone conclusion that it WILL happen. Next year we "COULD" encounter the Zombie Apocalypse - which would then get my vote as "the definitive humanitarian disaster of our time".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Many more die from smoking and overeating. But because we choose to do those things to ourselves, and enjoy them, they're not as scary as a bloody jungle virus.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Unless the virus mutates and become airborne I don't think so. Our generation will have to deal with water shortages, geo-political and economic upheaval and the opening stages of climate change. All of which have far more potential for humanitarian disaster on a truly global scale. Swing and a miss there Oxfam.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think it has been handled very casually and carelessly, the infected area should have been isolated, people coming out quarantined, anyone one entering the major continents form this area screened.

It wouldn't take much for it to spread throughout the world and become a true night mare.

Tell me about the WHO, the UN and these other organisations who have had their hands out for money for decades but done nothing to contain this outbreak.

Instead of the UN handing out directives about how we should run our lives , which light bulbs to use etc, they should have been preparing for this very scenario, now they say they have no money to do deal with it.

I have a feeling that the younger generations will be living in a real quagmire of problems as it seems those who they have elected have very little idea about what the world needs and are instead concerned with controlling every aspect of our daily lives, to benefit their own agendas, instead of dealing with the real issues in this world.

Those in charge say it will be early next year before they get this disease under control, well that might just be too late.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Absolutely not, in its current form. As others have stated, there have been by FAR many more disasters that will be remembered. The man-made disaster at Fukushima (not the Tsunami, but the gross mismanagement of evrything since), or the tsunami/typhoons/etc that wracked the Philippines are much more potent examples..

The point is, this happened "in my backyard" for the west, so it's a big deal. Anywhere else and (to many westerners) it'd just be an interesting topic to discuss at dinner.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What if Ebola mutates with the Flu???!!! Oh no we're all gonna die of Flubola! Burn the witches and grab a pitchfork! Oh no, oh no, the sky is gonna fall!!! (Sarcasm off now)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The media has whipped up this scare to be something bigger than it is because of the 'unknown factor' of Ebola. Yet, today and for decades we have known that smoking kills non-smokers. 41,000 yearly in just the USA alone. Why aren't you all panicking in Japan about that? Every time I go to a restaurant in Japan I check the signs for allowed smoking and follow that with a 'smell' check. Not one of the non-smoking areas has passed the nose test. Sure it's really next to impossible to do the same for Ebola when you go to a restaurant and the same would be true for HIV or Hepatitis. Yet, if I go to a non-smoking restaurant, there is still the risk of food poisoning or worse, HIV or Hepatitis.

So why do we humans do nothing about the things we know will kill us, the ones we can see and smell them but run for the fricken hills when something we don't understand that can kill us is mentioned? Love and Fear, that's your answer, the two most powerful emotions known to humankind. That's how you're being controlled and manipulated using their logic and your natural illogical reactions.

So what can you do? Educate yourself. What, too much effort? Yeah I know, I've heard it all before. Okay then, put your head down and keep on living your life with your fingers crossed that ignorance is bliss and you'll be okay...

Let's compare Ebola now (past ten months to what Tobacco is, has been doing for decades). This should put things in perspective for those who actually give a flying (expletive).

"Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death." Yet we still allow it and cover it with social medical care.

"Worldwide, tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030." "In early September, WHO said as many as 20,000 people could become infected with the Ebola virus by the time the outbreak is over."

"Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including an estimated 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day." So far 4,877 have died from Ebola in 2014. So what's the fuss all about when 41,000 non-smokers in the USA die every year from second hand smoke?! People really need to give their heads a massive throttling and start doing something about this fact which is 100% preventable.

http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/

http://www.ibtimes.com/ebola-death-toll-2014-how-many-people-have-really-died-virus-1711477

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The biggest fear has to be in China and India, countries with very high population density and poor sanitation practices. If Ebola reaches either of these two countries the disease could spread with frightening results.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Of course it "could". However, I don´t think it will. But how can one disagree with a hypothetical "could" question? Mt. Fuji "could" also explode tomorrow.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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