The tragedy of Ebola in West Africa is particularly striking pregnant women. Due to the diminished activity of the immune system in pregnancy, these women may be even more susceptible to infection.
As noted in the accompanying article, “during the H1N1 influenza pandemic in the United States, seventeen percent of infected pregnant women died; the mortality rate for the rest of the population was only 0.02 percent.” In a prior Ebola outbreak in 1995, 14 of 15 pregnant women infected died.
Because pregnant women are assumed to have no hope, they are currently at the bottom of the triage list; in afflicted areas with precious few resources, the medications and facilities available are being used to treat anyone else. And the pregnant women are dying. No one knows if they are dying from enhanced susceptibility to Ebola, or due to lack of treatment, or both.
Please read this moving account, and contribute in any way you can to help mitigate the suffering of our fellow human beings. Google “Ebola donations” to find a plethora of worthy charities who desperately need your help.
Ebola in the Maternity Ward – The New Yorker