Health Minister Leo Varadkar was stating the obvious yesterday when he said that we need to do more to prepare for an outbreak of ebola in Ireland, unlikely as that terrible eventuality may seem right now.
It would be foolish and dangerous to pretend that an adequate, convincing response might be available in a worst case scenario unless emergency services had already made extensive preparations. These preparations must be realistic and recognise that the co-operation of the public is essential so clear, concise and achievable guidelines are required.
We should remember too that we have some form in this area and even if a comparison to the society-wide effort to keep foot and mouth out of the country is not a perfect fit it is a reassuring example of what can be achieved if everyone plays their part.
Of course the best way to prepare to fight ebola is to join international efforts to alleviate the conditions that allowed the disease spread so disastrously in Africa — in other words intensify our efforts to fight poverty.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved