Das nächste Ziel des Ebola-Virus

NEU DELHI – Welche Länder außerhalb Westafrikas sind im Hinblick auf die Ebola-Epidemie besonders gefährdet? Keine großen Befürchtungen hegen die meisten Epidemiologen für die Industrieländer, wo man über wirksame Quarantäne- und Überwachungsmaßnahmen verfügt, sowie auch für dünn besiedelte Entwicklungsländer. In Ländern dieser Kategorien wäre einem Ausbruch leicht zu begegnen. Überaus stark gefährdet sind hingegen große, dicht besiedelte Gebiete ohne entsprechende  Mechanismen zur Eindämmung der Krankheit.

Indien mit seinem hohen Anteil an Auswanderern (dem zweitgrößten weltweit), seinen dicht besiedelten städtischen Ballungsräumen und der unzureichenden öffentlichen Gesundheitsinfrastruktur hat im Falle einer Ausbreitung des Ebola-Virus potenziell am meisten zu verlieren. Zwischen Indien und Westafrika bestehen enge Verbindungen, die bis in das letzte Jahrhundert zurückreichen. Fast 50.000 Inder oder Menschen indischen Ursprungs leben in der Region Westafrika.

Tatsächlich reisen täglich unzählige Menschen mit dem Flugzeug über den Nahen Osten und Europa zwischen Accra, Lagos, Freetown, Monrovia oder Abidjan einerseits und Neu Delhi, Mumbai, Kalkutta oder Chennai andererseits. Zwar werden auf allen Flughäfen in den betroffenen Gebieten Ausreisekontrollen durchgeführt, doch angesichts der Inkubationszeit des Virus (beim aktuellen Ausbruch durchschnittlich acht Tage, doch bis zu 21 Tage sind möglich)  kann es vorkommen, dass infizierte, aber bislang symptomfreie Passagiere die Reise nach Indien antreten, ohne Alarm auszulösen.

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