Because you know, they insist on things like balanced budgets and repaying of debts. (Never mind they are providing 0 percent loans…) Those evil, evil bankers. IMF policies blamed for weak Ebola response – Telegraph.
The whole thing is completely predictable. So I won’t quote any of it. Even the IMF rebuttal is de rigueur.
But I still think all this focus on Ebola is a focus in the wrong place. Oh, yeah, it is an issue with West Africa, and they need to do something about it. But there are other diseases more likely to kill you. Like TB.
Fewer than 8000 people have died of Ebola in this latest outbreak in West Africa, including the handful that died in the US and Europe.
First, lets look at the global picture on TB.
- In 2013, 9 million people fell ill with TB and 1.5 million died from the disease.
- Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and it is among the top 5 causes of death for women aged 15 to 44.
- In 2013, an estimated 550 000 children became ill with TB and 80 000 HIV-negative children died of TB.
- Globally in 2013, an estimated 480 000 people developed multidrug resistant TB (MDR-TB).
Of those 480,000 MDR-TB cases, approximately 9 percent were Extremely drug-resistant TB, or XDR-TB.
In the US, things are better, but there were still more than 9500 cases of TB reported in the US.
There were 536 deaths from TB in 2011, the most recent year for which these data are available.
Paying attention to things that can kill you is probably important, and probably worthy of news coverage, but why the coverage of one and not the other?
UPDATE: I am not alone in my concerns… Beware The Silent Killer: Influenza.
Now that the media have finished with the luridly reported and absurdly exaggerated concerns about Ebola in the U.S., they might wish to consider a genuine imminent threat to our health: influenza.
The “flu,” which is marked by high fever, muscle aches, malaise, cough, and sore throat, is transmissible through airborne droplets and is so infectious that after an airplane sat for three hours with its engines off and no air circulating, within three days, 39 of the 54 people on board contracted the flu, infected by a single passenger.
And it can kill you.
From the 1976-77 season to the 2006-07 season, flu-associated deaths in this country ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Worldwide, flu kills about 250,000-500,000 annually.)