La próxima frontera del ébola

NUEVA DELHI – ¿Qué países, además de los del África occidental, son más susceptibles a la epidemia de ébola? La mayoría de los epidemiólogos no temen demasiado por el mundo desarrollado, con sus eficaces medidas de cuarentena y procedimientos de rastreo o incluso por países en desarrollo escasamente poblados. En esos dos grupos de países se podría contener fácilmente un brote, pero las zonas grandes y densamente pobladas y que carezcan de los mecanismos apropiados para la contención son enormemente vulnerables.

La India, con su gran población emigrante (la segunda en importancia del mundo), su gran densidad urbana y la insuficiente infraestructura pública de atención de salud, es la que más posibilidades tiene de ser la que más pierda, si se extiende el virus ébola. Los vínculos con el África occidental son estrechos y se remontan al siglo pasado, pues casi 50.000 indios o personas de origen indio viven en esa región.

De hecho, muchas personas vuelan diariamente entre Accra, Lagos, Freetown, Monrovia o Abidján y Nueva Delhi, Mumbai, Calcuta o Chennai y transitan por Oriente Medio o Europa. Si bien hay controles de salida en todos los aeropuertos internacionales de las regiones afectadas, el período de incubación del virus (que es de ocho días por término medio en el brote actual, pero puede llegar a 21 días) significa que alguien sin síntomas de una infección reciente podría hacer el viaje a la India sin desencadenar alarmas.

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