How Can the WHO Prevent the Spread of Ebola?

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Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) –- Bloomberg View’s Lisa Beyer discusses the World Health Organization and the best way to contain the spread of Ebola across Africa. She speaks on “Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Welcome back to "street smart." what needs to be happening now?

What should the w.h.o. be doing to prevent this from becoming more severe?

I think the most important thing to keep in mind is we know how to fight ebola.

The way to fight this disease is basic.

Basic public health measures.

It is necessary to identify people who have ebola, isolate them, figure out who they have been in contact with, follow those people and track their fevers and make sure they do not get ebola.

If they do, isolate them.

For people that get sick, i have to be given basic care.

There are no proven treatments.

But you can make sure secondary infections are treated.

You can feed them, make sure fluids are replaced because people with ebola tend to become dehydrated.

That increases the chances of survival, in this particular epidemic up to 40%. that encourages people to come in and get treatment which encourages isolation.

All of this is good.

We know how to fight this.

Problem is the outbreak is happening on the continent of africa.

You have developing countries that don't have the infrastructure, to doctors, the wherewithal to do with this.

Where does the w.h.o. need to step into assist?

You cannot just be the debbie h o -- the w.h.o.. there's often a misconception it has enormous resources and tons of money and is a disease fighting organization.

It is more of a coordinating body.

It has done a fair amount in recent weeks to step up in that role.

It will take much more than the w.h.o. their two things that need to happen that have not enough yet.

There is a need for additional manpower.

In addition to doctors in the affected areas and medical workers stepping up, there have been a number of outside organizations, doctors without frontiers, samaritan's purse, the cdc, the united states defense department, who have sent volunteers over.

There will have to be more because they are exhausted and extended beyond their reach.

I think it is important for the country's in eastern -- countries in eastern and central africa to organize teams and send them over to this part of africa and the western part of africa which has never expressed ebola before because those teams are exhausted.

The other point is they don't have sufficient equipment.

They don't have the protective suits.

They don't have enough.

Without those, medical teams are getting infected.

They are dying.

15% of the deaths in the epidemic are medical workers.

That means there are not enough people to take care of other folks who have ebola.

It also means it is discovered -- discouraging would-be volunteers.

There is so much concern about the potential for africa and the economies they are given how quickly we have seen and how quickly this disease seems to be progressing.

Is there a risk to the development of these countries because of ebola?

I think that is yet to be seen.

This is only in one part of africa.

I don't think there is any reason to think this outbreak can't be suppressed.

Ahead of the cdc gave a press conference a few days ago where he said he thought it could be suppressed within six months.

I would not be launching any grand predictions about this being a death knell to africa's economic growth.

We will leave it there.

Thank you very much.

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This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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