By rights it should be very difficult for the Ebola virus to spread. The virus can be easily destroyed by the simple use of soap and water and, if it takes hold, it quickly kills the host in the majority of cases which is not conducive to spreading the disease. But it is spreading and it's an indication of the sign of the times that it is. At present in West Africa infections are doubling around every 18 days. It will only take these two figures to fall a bit for this disease to turn into a singular threat. There are predictions today (Newsnight last night) of 1.4 million cases by the end of the year. The virus, which has been contracted from the animal kingdom, has found its vector in the poverty of decomposing capitalism. It's taken a hold in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Unlike his other escapades, the war by Britain in Sierra Leone in the 90's was considered a "good" war by the Blair regime. It was supposed to bring peace and security to the people of Sierra Leone, it was a "humanitarian" war. It put British boots on the ground alright and made this an area from which British imperialism could defend its interests but it did nothing for the people except increase their misery and poverty. The White House has just sent three thousand troop to Liberia to attempt to counter this threat - they have been sent immediately and are there now. While this will suit the already existing build up of US forces in this region countering the Chinese, the immediate aim is to stop the spread of this disease. The case in Texas has woken up the US to the dangers and one wonders, given the need for isolation and specialised treatment, just how the major health services of the west would cope faced with a growing threat.
The spread of the disease is a "good" example of the decomposition of capitalism in that it demonstrates its short-termism and the fact that its activity or inactivity undermines its own economic health. The economies of the three countries mentioned above have virtually shut down and other diseases such as malaria are taking a firmer grip.