As a British national living in Sierra Leone is confirmed as testing positive for the deadly Ebola virus, the UK chief medical officer insists that the chances of contracting the disease in this country are very low.
Two American doctors flown back to the USA for intensive treatment have reportedly recovered from the disease and were discharged from hospital earlier this week but many have not been so lucky.
More than 1400 people across Africa have died from this disease during the current outbreak. Others are still sick with the disease which means the death toll is expected to rise.
Experimental drugs sent over to Africa to try to treat Ebola are a mixed bag. Supplies are limited for one thing. As the drug was still at the experimental stage it may not work for every person who has contracted Ebola. The two American doctors also had the benefit of a super-clean modern American university hospital unlike most Ebola patients in Africa.
Good standards of hygiene are a must in fighting the spread of Ebola but many of the victims in Africa live in poverty, some in shanty towns.
There is obviously a great deal of work to do and it is difficult to know whether our chief medical officer in the UK is assessing the situation accurately, is off the mark or more likely is simply trying to keep people clam and dispel fears. Read - Ebola red alert Britain
With echoes of the plague in England centuries ago "Sierra Leone's parliament has passed a new law making it a criminal offence to shelter Ebola patients" reports BBC News Saturday.
That has to be a sign that the situation in parts of Africa is crucial. You have to feel for people in those countries, especially the poor and vulnerable. Too many live in poverty; face threats of disease over and over again and are now also facing violence at the hands of Muslim militants or jihadists.
What is Ebola? Here is a brief explanation by TEK's B McPherson - Haemorrhagic fevers are found around the world. They are usually spread by rodents or insects. In some cases like Ebola, once a person is infected from an unknown wild source, often “bush meat” the disease can spread from person to person. Failure on the part of care givers to sterilize needles and equipment can also add to the epidemic. More at our sources below: BBC News Guardian