“Sierra Leone Bans Public Meetings” over Ebola Outbreak

Sierra Leone’s president declared a state of emergency in his west African country, banning all public meetings and mobilizing troops to quarantine the homes of Ebola victims, as the World Health Organization reports that the death toll from the latest outbreak of the virus has jumped to 729,” USA Today reports.┬áBut how dangerous is the disease even for those in the most-affected areas? According to the Telegraph,┬áthe recent outbreak has led to “1200 suspected cases so far across Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.” Sierra Leone has a population of some six million people (Colorado has around 5.3 million, by comparison). No doubt if hundreds of people died of a viral infection in Colorado, people would be freaking out. The outbreak leads to two important questions: What should governments do about this and other outbreaks, and what should individuals do? Prudence counsels that families keep on hand at least a short-term store of emergency supplies (including water and food), just in case. Meanwhile, those who want to learn more about the ebola virus may see WHO’s fact sheet.