Ebola “at Portugal’s door”

As the nation’s health chiefs prepared to make a special announcement on Friday afternoon, it is clear that the deadly Ebola virus is now very much at Portugal’s door. In fact, this is the expression used in press reports this morning as Spain received the first national infected with the virus into a secure hospital unit in Madrid.
Seventy-five-year-old priest Miguel Pajares arrived under tight security in a military aircraft from Liberia. He was said to be in a stable condition, “a bit disoriented and weak”, but showing no signs of bleeding, which was “very positive”, said observers.
Meantime, all Portugal’s airports are under “Ebola watch”. Talking to newspapers, Rui Oliveira, press officer for airports authority ANA, said contingency plans were in place and ANA is awaiting the announcement later today by DGS health chief Graça Freitas before it enacts them.
Regardless of any new arrangements taken on in Portugal, passengers flying in to the country from Africa are now being sprayed with disinfectant before boarding.
“We were told it was an international measure,” 43-year-old Ana Martinho, flying in yesterday from Luanda in Angola told newspapers.
“It has certainly never happened on any flight I have taken before.”
It was only today that the World Health Organisation declared Ebola to be a “global public health emergency”, despite the fact that it has been cutting a swathe through West Africa for many months.
This latest outbreak’s death toll has topped 1,700, but it seems the fact that westerners are being caught up in the disease has prompted global authorities to get involved.
An experimental vaccine is being used to treat two infected American aid workers flown home to the States and both are reported to be showing “improvements”.
But thus far, the vaccine remains unavailable to all those suffering from the virus in Africa.
It’s a controversy set to continue – with critics accusing the West of only acting when white people get infected.