Ebola here, Ebola there, ebola everywhere. Actually, it’s only been in West Africa and one case in the US and Spain each but the way the news reports have been spewing out information, it seems as though we are nearing a pandemic. Let’s slow down and look at the facts so you’ll see why I’m not freaking out about Ebola and why you shouldn’t either.
1. Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever Demographic
Ebola became a hot topic this year in March when cases started popping up in West Africa. Before this, there were outbreaks starting all the way from 1976 and there wasn’t much media coverage on it at all.
Contrary to what a lot of people believe, it’s not the new SARS because it can’t be transmitted through the air. People fall ill with Ebola only through direct contact which is super unlikely unless you are in the infected areas shaking hands with everyone.
We are luckily on the other side of the world and have a low chance of the virus infiltrating the population here.
Symptoms of Ebola include “sudden onset of fever, weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat. These symptoms can appear two to 21 days after infection.” Sound familiar? They’re basically the symptoms for almost anything, especially the common flu that majority people fall victim to during temperature drops. Unless you start bleeding out of your eyes or come into bodily contact with someone who has been to Nigeria recently, it’s safe to say you haven’t contracted Ebola.
Get yourself checked out if you are majorly concerned but don’t panic and sell all your furniture.
As the cases start to climb, completely natural because Ebola is contagious, many public health officials have already been heightening security on air travel from West Africa and running extensive tests on those who show early symptoms of ebola hemorrhagic fever. The reason it has spread so quickly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia is because of their limited access to proper healthcare, shelter or nutritious food.
The deterioration of the disease really does depend on the circumstance of the patient. In places with advanced health care and better living conditions, there have been cases where the disease was treated with experimental drugs, ZMapp, as was seen with the French nurse.
Simple soap and water can kill the virus as it doesn’t live outside the body for very long. Go here for why Ebola spreads the way it does.
As always, the media finds ways to blow everything out of proportion. With headlines such as “Ebola is coming” written in blood, there’s no wonder people in North America are freaking out. Residents got a big scare in Toronto when a patient travelling from Africa was admitted to a hospital with only a fever. The results came back negative after extreme headlines worried the living daylights out of Canadians.
It’s also funny how you never really hear about the cases where patients have been discharged after being diagnosed with Ebola. 8 patients were treated and discharged in Lagos in September showing recovery is possible. Turn off the TV people and read some trustworthy articles.
This post is in no means belittling all the unfortunate victim deaths, instead it is here to raise awareness about healthcare and our ignorance. Simply because our side of the world doesn’t need to be quarantined from Ebola doesn’t mean we can’t help out; you can donate to relief efforts! For now, keep the same basic health regimes and you won’t need to be worrying about contracting Ebola anytime soon.
Have you freaked out about Ebola?
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