A próxima fronteira do Ébola

NOVA DELI – Que países, para além dos da África Ocidental, são mais susceptíveis à epidemia de Ébola? A maioria dos epidemiologistas não teme muito pelo mundo desenvolvido, onde estão em vigor medidas de quarentena e procedimentos de rastreio eficazes, ou mesmo pelos países em desenvolvimento de baixa densidade populacional. Um surto poderia ser facilmente contido em ambos os grupos de países. Porém, as grandes áreas densamente povoadas onde não existem mecanismos de contenção adequados são altamente vulneráveis.

A Índia, com a sua vasta população emigrante (a segunda mais numerosa do mundo), uma elevada densidade urbana e infra-estruturas públicas de saúde inadequadas, é o país que terá mais a perder em caso de propagação do vírus do Ébola. Os laços com a África Ocidental são estreitos e remontam ao século passado, cifrando-se em 50 mil o número de indianos ou de pessoas de origem indiana que vivem na região.

Na verdade, um grande número de pessoas desloca-se diariamente de avião entre Accra, Lagos, Freetown, Monróvia, ou Abidjan e Nova Deli, Mumbai, Calcutá, Chennai, transitando pelo Médio Oriente ou pela Europa. Embora haja um procedimento de controlo das saídas em todos os aeroportos internacionais nas regiões afectadas, o período de incubação do vírus (em média de oito dias na actual epidemia, mas que poderá ser de até 21 dias) implica que uma pessoa recentemente infectada, mas ainda sem apresentar sintomas, poderia chegar à Índia sem desencadear alarmes.

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