8 March 2019   Leave a comment

Doctors Without Borders has issued a dire warning about the most recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The outbreak has thus far killed 569 people. Violence is endemic to the areas of Congo affected, and two of the clinics run by Doctors without Borders have been burned down by arsonists. There is a real danger that the current outbreak may not be under control:

“Just as worrisome, epidemiologists say, are recent data from the World Health Organization (WHO) that suggest the virus is spreading undetected. During the last three weeks of February, 43% of the people who died from Ebola in Katwa and Butembo were found dead in their communities — not isolated in hospitals in the late stages of the illness, when the disease is most infectious. And three-quarters of those diagnosed with Ebola had not previously been identified as contacts of people who had contracted the virus.

“Taken together, the statistics suggest that the virus is spreading outside known chains of transmission, making it harder to contain and driving up the mortality rate compared to previous outbreaks. The current death rate of about 60% is higher than it was during the much larger 2014–16 Ebola crisis in West Africa, despite improvements since then in how people with Ebola are cared for, including the introduction of several experimental drugs.”

The Ebola virus is a devastating disease but requires direct contact to be spread. Once contracted, however, the mortality rate is about 50%

Ebola Virus

The Russian Parliament has passed two laws that place serious constraints on the ability of Russian citizens to criticize their government. According to the BBC:

“The first ban refers to “blatant disrespect” of the state, its officials and Russian society, and repeat offenders face up to 15 days in jail.

“The second bill prohibits sharing “false information of public interest, shared under the guise of fake news,” the TASS state news agency reported.

“Both new crimes carry heavy fines.”

The bills complement the recent efforts of the Russian state to create a Russian internet that would require all web traffic to be routed through points controlled by the Russian state. The moves indicate that Russia is becoming a state where all information will be controlled and monitored.

Posted March 8, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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