It seems for the last week Americans have been waking up each day to more grim news about Ebola. What was once a deadly disease outbreak taking place thousands of miles away is now creeping up to our doorsteps.
Spend Matters has been covering the Ebola epidemic in recent months, and we will continue to discuss this topic on our site in the coming week. What is the threat we face in the US? What would an outbreak mean not just for the health of Americans but for the health of our supply chains?
Back in August, our article “A Timeline of the Current Ebola Epidemic,” gave readers a breakdown of when and where the outbreak started and where it spread.
Thomas Kase, vice president of research for Spend Matters, also provided an in-depth look for our PRO readers at the risks Ebola presents for the procurement world. In his article, “Ebola and the Potential Supply Chain Impact – What is Prudent for Procurement?” Thomas said, “Ebola is not just a virulent killer of people – it is also, potentially, a killer of supply chains.”
And that was back in August when the outbreak had yet to spread outside western Africa. Has the threat changed since Ebola has now hit closer to home? The first Ebola case in the US was officially diagnosed Sept. 30, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The patient had traveled to Texas after spending time in West Africa. Within a week, we have heard about a sick airline passenger in Newark, New Jersey, who was suspected of having the disease, a homeless man being monitored for Ebola-like symptoms and a journalist confirmed to have Ebola being treated in Nebraska. (Other countries, such as Spain, have also reported Ebola cases.)
The CDC, World Health Organization and other government agencies are reportedly coordinating efforts to stop any chance of an Ebola outbreak in the United States. People who were in contact with the Ebola patient in Dallas have been quarantined, for instance. But, no doubt, people are wondering what is the likelihood the disease will spread throughout the country.
In a recent Spend Matters “Ask the Expert” webinar, Thomas talked to Heiko Schwarz, managing director of riskmethods, a German firm focused on global supply basic risk visibility and mitigation. Thomas has been talking to supply chain experts again regarding Ebola and the procurement industry and plans to provide updated insight on the topic this week.
Stay tuned as we continue our coverage.