In Australia, the Canberra Times sees a day not far off when Ebola checks in at the airport. “Sooner or later a person carrying the Ebola virus will arrive in Australia. Australia’s health and quarantine services gather information about the detection and management of particular conditions, and have rehearsed responses, not only for Ebola, but with conditions such as SARS [South Asian Respiratory Syndrome], bird flu and H1N1. “That said, active help by Australians on the ground, though welcome, is probably not nearly as important as helping to underwrite some of the costs to closer countries in a position to do it more effectively,” the paper said.
The Sydney Morning Herald takes a dark view of Ebola: “Somehow the world forgot to fear Ebola,” its editorial states. “Twenty years ago, when the best-seller The Hot Zone was published, its searing descriptions of the threat of Ebola and related viruses put its deadly potential front and centre in the public mind; it seemed a real and present danger. But then it fell off our radar. “Health officials are confident our health systems will cope if Ebola reaches Australia. Of course, US authorities said the same but, are now dealing with the consequences of an embarrassing slip in infection control. In the long run, geography will not protect us. Extending a global helping hand will.”
The Independent of UK, in its editorial, questions why so little is being done by Europe: “The news on Ebola only gets worse ... there is much, much more to do and other European countries have so far contributed little. This is a global emergency and demands a global response. As the world begins to mobilise against the lethal epidemic, there are already vital lessons emerging that must be learnt so that countries may respond more swiftly and effectively to similar threats.” It presents six inviolable lessons the world must learn from this experience. “First: Prepare for the unexpected. Second: Put early warning systems in place. Third: Ensure good communication. Fourth: Provide guidance for countries on how to prepare for an outbreak. Fifth: Fund research into a vaccine and treatments. Sixth: When help is needed, respond swiftly and generously.”
In the Philippines, the Manila Standard Today is wary of Ebola’s arrival on its soil. “That the dreaded Ebola virus would enter the Philippines is not impossible; it’s not improbable, either. The Philippines, for its part, has Filipino migrant workers still living in the most affected countries and who face the very real threat of infection. That some of them might have been exposed to the virus, and then eventually come home for a vacation with their families before manifesting its symptoms, is a scenario that is too likely to dismiss.”
Mississippi-based Clarion Ledger in the US offers hope in a bleak scenario. Ebola, it says, can be beaten. “In 2000, Uganda had the worst Ebola outbreak ever until this year. It killed more than 400 people. But that nation has since learned how to contain the disease and the last three flare-ups have been contained to 18 cases and eight deaths. Nigeria has managed to stop the spread of Ebola from neighbouring countries after a handful of cases turned up there,” it said.