The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised its response level to the Ebola outbreak in Africa to the highest level possible to address the growing concerns of further escalation and the virus spreading around the world. The Ebola virus has now spread to Nigeria with nine confirmed cases and one death so far. The CDC’S Level 1 Activation allows the agency to take personnel involved with other tasks and bring them into the fold in West Africa. The virus outbreak shows no evidence of slowing down, and it could take months before the situation becomes under control. The CDC says that 50 disease-control experts could get to West Africa in the next 30 days.
Although this was to be expected as the virus spread, the Level 1 alert does show how seriously the CDC is taking it. The last time the CDC had a Level 1 alert was in 2009 during the H1N1 pandemic. The virus has killed more than 1200 people since the beginning of March, and there currently isn’t a FDA-approved vaccine. What scares health officials the most is the speed and fatality rate of the virus. The current outbreak has a fatality rate of nearly 60%. With numbers like these, it’s important to get prepared just in case the CDC’s worst fears are confirmed.
It’s imperative that you have the supplies in place to sustain a long-term pandemic. Although we often think of natural disasters when we think of emergency preparation, the threat of a pandemic should incite every household to have a preparedness plan in place that includes emergency food storage, water, and medical supplies for long-term use. For example, if the Ebola virus were to spread in the United States, a mandatory quarantine could take place. It would last at least 21 days as that is how long inoculation might take. As the virus outbreak continues to expand globally, households must get ready.