Fareed speaks with Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who co-discovered the Ebola virus.
You worry about the fact that this could spread in the very large, very congested cities in Africa, for example, in Nigeria. And at that point, this could really spread like lightning.
Well, first of all, the three countries that are affected are being totally destabilized, not only in terms of people who are killed by Ebola, their families, the orphans that now are coming up because the parents die, but the economy has come to a standstill. People are massively dying from other diseases that are normally treatable, like malaria, or women die while giving birth because hospitals are abandoned or are full with Ebola patients.
So that’s a very, very destabilizing factor. And that's going to go in its impact beyond Ebola.
Now the big question will be, will this spread to surrounding countries? The good news is that both Nigeria and Senegal have been able to contain a number important cases. In Senegal, there wasn’t even any secondary case. In Nigeria, there were a number of people who were infected and died, but it has not given rise to an outbreak in Lagos, after all, a city of more than 20 million people, or in Port Harcourt.
So that shows that if you act decisively and early enough, that this can be controlled. This was an avoidable catastrophe.