By Mick Krever, CNN
The scientist who discovered the Ebola virus said that a current outbreak of the deadly bug in West Africa, in which 467 people have died, is “unprecedented.”
“One, [this is] the first time in West Africa that we have such an outbreak,” Dr. Peter Piot told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “Secondly, it is the first time that three countries are involved. And thirdly it’s the first time that we have outbreaks in capitals, in capital cities.”
Doctors Without Borders warns that the outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia is now “out of control.” The number of cases is still spiking since it was first observed around the beginning of this year.
“With this strain of Ebola, you’ve got like a ninety percent chance of dying. That’s spectacular by any standard – one of the most lethal viruses that exist.”
And the way victims die is far from pleasant.
“Ebola virus infection starts with something that looks like the flu – headache, fever, maybe diarrhoea. But then you can develop very fast bleeding that’s uncontrollable, and that’s how people die.”
Easy to fight
There is no cure for Ebola, but in theory the disease should be easy to fight, Piot said.
(CNN) – The HIV virus and AIDS, the debilitating condition it causes, are the leading killers of women of reproductive age in the world, the singer and activist Annie Lennox told CNN in an interview aired Friday.
“The world needs to wake up and realize that the HIV/AIDS pandemic has changed its face since the 1980’s. It has been affecting women and children at an enormous rate,” Lennox told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
“As a woman and a mother myself, I want to contribute to keeping this issue on the table. HIV is invisible”, she added.
“You have swine flu, you have bird flu, and everybody is up in arms. But this has been a killer for years and it’s not getting any better.”