Ebola is all everyone is talking about, we are even a little guilty of it ourselves. Every day, the reports we all hear grow more and more dire and disconcerting.
The USA discovered it had a chink in its disease prevention protocol armor when the news of its first diagnosed Ebola patient came to light back in September, of this year. Thomas Eric Duncan was the first patient in the states diagnosed with the deadly disease. Initially misdiagnosed and released with a treatment of antibiotics, Duncan was finally admitted into the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital where he eventually succumbed to the disease.
Spreading the fear further, two healthcare workers who treated him were also then diagnosed with the virus themselves. If this could happen in Texas, surely it will be in my town next, right? Which means I should board up my windows, stock up on MRE’s and surgical masks and stay indoors for a year or two… right?
Well, before we all lose our heads over what is certainly a very serious situation, we should do a little homework and find out exactly what is happening, and what is being done to prevent the need for us all to flee to our fallout shelters.
So, I have collected some resources to help you weed out the facts from all of the hype.
First is this report by Fox News’ Shepard Smith. In contrast to much of the hyperbolic coverage, this report is very level.
Second, Stephen Colbert is known for his satire and comedy. But, alongside his funny-bone tickling comments is some serious reporting as well.
And finally, NBC News released a story titled, Don’t Panic: Why Ebola Won’t Become an Epidemic in New York
This is not all to say Ebola is not a very serious threat, which it most certainly is. Many, many thousands of people across the globe have been, or will be affected by it. But, before you take out a second mortgage to have your house hermetically sealed shut, spend a few minutes to educate yourself with the facts.
Officials say, the yet-as identified patient is under “strict isolation” in Dallas, Texas, apparently confirming a statement issued on Monday by the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas.
Monday night Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas released the following statement:
“Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas has admitted a patient into strict isolation to be evaluated for potential Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) based on the patient’s symptoms and recent travel history. The hospital is following all Centers for Disease Control and Texas Department of Heath recommendations to ensure the safety of patients, hospital staff, volunteers, physicians and visitors. The CDC anticipates preliminary results tomorrow (Wednesday).”
In a press conference, CDC Director Tom Frieden said the patient in question had been traveling in Liberia, where he may have contracted the disease.
“It is certainly possible that someone who had contact with this individual…could develop Ebola in the coming weeks,” Frieden said, but added that “there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here.”
According to the CDC website, “The 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest in history and the first Ebola epidemic the world has ever known.” The virus is know to be transmitted by contact with blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola. Objects, such as needles and syringes, that have been contaminated and animals that are infected are also know means of transmitting the virus. At this time it is not believed that Ebola is transmitted through the air or by water.
There is currently no known treatment or cure for the virus.
Complete information on the Ebola Virus can be found on the CDC website at CDC.gov.
The CNBC story can be found here.
Dallas CBS News Report.