The latest health threat to emerge is a disease known as Ebola. The disease has killed more than 932 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria since it first emerged back in March.
The crisis has captured the attention of the U.S. Congress. At a hearing Thursday, experts painted a grim picture of all the work that needs to be done in order to combat the lethal sickness.
Nigerian diplomats say the Ebola virus puts every country in the world at risk. Two people have succumbed to the virus in Nigeria. They've declared the situation a national emergency.
Dr. Arese Carrington joined Jim Braude on Broadside to share her thoughts on combating the disease. Carrington spent 15 years as a practicing physician in Nigeria. She also served as associate director of Harvard's AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria.
"It's frightening if you think of the multiplying effect and the exponential growth," said Carrington of the disease. "These countries need a lot of help from outside sources."
Carrington says a weak public health infrastructure and the cultural obstacles of many African countries make it difficult for natives to avoid the disease.