South Africa (SA)'s record in handling the initial HIV/AIDS pandemic (without antiretroviral drugs) and the rapid spread of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB) are major red flags warning that it may not have the capacity to face the deadly drug-defiant West African Ebola virus...

These analogies were drawn by an expert on disease surveillance and laboratory systems, Dr Andrew Medina-Marino, on his return to SA from Ebola-ravaged Liberia, one of the four West African countries across which the virus had claimed more than 1 900 lives among 4 000 suspected infections between early March and 3 September this year - and the pandemic is accelerating.