By: Katie Albertino – Communication
Hide your kids, hide your wives and hide your husbands because it’s infecting everybody up here. That’s right people, Ebola has entered the United States, and she brought the worst gift to this party, fear.
A few months ago, Ebola started making her way through Africa, saying hi to Guinea and Liberia. She became a pretty big deal and decided to branch out and see the world; similar to Beatlemania or One Direction hysteria, but this time The Ebola Outbreak of 2014 (cue scary music).
She had been in Africa for a few months, causing a real ruckus, and heard the Unites States talking about her, so naturally she wanted to find out what the U.S. was saying. The media depicted her as this evil stepmother; in your personal space trying to ruin every part of your life.
Ebola was upset and tried to patch things up by coming here in person. However, that just caused more hysteria.
People didn’t want anything to do with her and tried to prevent her arrival into the U.S. Many individuals voiced their opinions loudly, and to be honest, it hurt Ebola’s feelings. Some people called for flight restrictions and others demanded that people trying to bring Ebola over our borders be considered terrorists and should be turned away from our healthcare professionals.
Maybe terrorist is a good term for our friend Ebola. I mean she did cause quite a stir when she finally made her big entrance.
However, I feel our wondering minds and fast conclusions would be better suited for the title of ‘terrorist.’
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, terrorism is defined as “the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.”
Our quick judgments and lack of information led to over exaggerated reactions and fears. Our own minds, with the reinforcement from media outlets, created terror within a situation that only called for caution.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ebola is transferred through direct contact (through broken skin, eyes, nose, mouth) with blood or bodily fluids, infected animals (as far as we know, only primates, humans, and bats) or contaminated objects such as needles or syringes. The CDC states that this is not an airborne disease and also cannot be spread through water or food.
This explains why those contracting the disease are usually the healthcare workers who are in close contact with infected patients, which increases the chance for contamination.
Now here’s a little fact for you. Measles, mumps, chicken pox, and polio are all more contagious than Ebola. Sure, those four diseases have vaccinations and are, for the most part, controlled within our society, but at one point they were causing just as big of a disturbance as Ebola. Thousands of people were affected by these diseases during their outbreaks, but we were able to develop vaccines and medication, which has helped and will continue to help millions.
There isn’t an FDA-approved vaccine or medication for Ebola, but many scientists are creating and testing possible vaccines and other options. While the research for a cure continues, according to the CDC, a patient can recover from the infection with supportive care and his or her immune response, and will develop antibodies which will fend off the disease for at least 10 years.
This virus, although daunting, is not the reaper of the apocalypse. Unless everyone starts exchanging bodily fluids, there’s really no threat within the United States.
So, everybody take a deep breath with me.
Now, take a chill pill and good old Ebola will withdraw from our humble abode and take the suitcase full of fear she brought with her.