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Could Wycombe cope with an Ebola epidemic?

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Throughout history civilisation has been troubled with plagues and diseases which spread like wildfire amongst the population.

Take for example the Great Plague of 1665 which killed an estimated 100,000 people, or 15% of the population, in London at the time.

In recent years mad cow disease and bird flu all threatened to cause chaos in society by in actual fact they turned out to be damp squibs and the only impact they had in our country was to take up a few minutes of air time on the television news.

However I fear the Ebola virus which is running out of control in Africa is in a different league and poses a real threat to us. So far more than 4,000 people have died from the virus since the latest outbreak in West Africa took hold.

Amazingly people have returned to the UK from areas infected without check. Even more amazingly infected people have been brought back to the UK for treatment effectively bringing the virus onto English soil.

If Ebola took hold in this country think of the human suffering and damage to our society.

The British Isles is an island nation yet passengers are still arriving by boat and plane from far away lands, they just walk into the country and live in our society.

Surely with such threatening virus on the loose we should be pulling up the drawbridge and stopping travellers from the rest of the world bringing illness to our pleasant and green lands?

In this modern world with the newfangled electric computers we can easily communicate with others overseas so why do people need to travel abroad in the first place?

So what would happen if the worst happened and Ebola did take hold here?

Would there enough doctors and nurses on standby to treat the dying?

If the schools had to close how would the children be taught?

If the virus took hold in the UK would Wycombe be sealed off so we could ride out the storm of infection in isolation?

Would Wycombe Hospital be able to cope with all the emergency cases?

The Ebola threat just shows the importance of having first class medical services close by but sadly our magnificent hospital has been ravaged by cutbacks, ward closures and withdrawal of key services like Accident and Emergency.

I hope that the medical services manage to contain the spread of the virus and that it never takes hold here, however this virus looks far more deadly and potent than any of the other ‘scares’ we have seen in recent years.

What do you think?

*My next blog will be published on Tuesday evening around 8pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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