La prossima frontiera di Ebola

NEW DELHI – Quali Paesi, oltre a quelli dell'Africa occidentale, sono più esposti all'epidemia di Ebola? La maggior parte degli epidemiologi non teme tanto per il mondo sviluppato, dove sono in vigore efficaci procedure di quarantena e monitoraggio, e neppure per i paesi in via di sviluppo scarsamente popolati. In entrambi i casi, un eventuale focolaio potrebbe essere facilmente contenuto. Ciò per cui temono di più, poiché altamente vulnerabili, sono le aree estese e densamente popolate, prive di adeguati meccanismi di contenimento.

L'India, con la sua vasta popolazione di emigranti (la seconda più numerosa al mondo), la sua alta densità urbana e le sue insufficienti infrastrutture sanitarie pubbliche, è il paese che ha più da perdere se il virus dell'Ebola si diffonde. Con l'Africa occidentale ha stretti legami che risalgono al secolo scorso e sono rappresentati dai quasi 50.000 indiani o persone di origine indiana che vivono nella regione.

Di fatto, un gran numero di persone si sposta quotidianamente tra Accra, Lagos, Freetown, Monrovia o Abidjan e Nuova Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, transitando per il Medio Oriente o l'Europa. Anche se vi sono controlli in uscita in tutti gli aeroporti internazionali delle zone colpite, il periodo d'incubazione del virus (che, nell'epidemia attuale, è mediamente di otto giorni, ma può estendersi fino a ventuno), implica che una persona appena infettata, ma ancora priva di sintomi, potrebbe arrivare in India senza destare alcun allarme.

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