The past Week, the Center for Disease Control confirmed the first outbreak of Ebola within the US. And as expected, a bunch of people freaked out about the situation, fearing something they don’t understand – it being a foreign disease that has no cure. Nevertheless, evidence occurred proving that other individuals were exposed to the disease by Duncan, where another American cameraman in Liberia also just tested positive for Ebola.
Now I get it, all of this is truly worrying, and definitely unsettling as the impact Ebola is having in West Africa is extremely concerning. Though what people need to keep in mind is that Africa is being ravaged by Ebola because first and foremost they are ill equipped to handle the crisis, something the US is not guilty of. In order to keep things in perspective, we need, to offer the public our resources in order to help countries in West Africa fight the disease and contain it. Happily, these efforts are already being underway.
So with that being said, here are 5 reasons why we all should calm the f*ck down about the Ebola breakout.
1. MEDCs have the technological infrastructure to contain an outbreak.
Listen, the major reason why Ebola has spread so quickly in Africa is because of the poor technological infrastructure and the lack of resources. Nevertheless, an Ebola outbreak in Developed countries is very unlikely.
Medical facilities in countries such as the US have a qualitative infrastructure, where the necessary resources exist, having the capability to contain an outbreak. Likewise, CDC Director Thomas Frieden stated that, “I have no doubt that we will control this case of Ebola so that it does not spread widely in this country.”
2. No, this isn’t the first Ebola outbreak – it’s containable.
Yes, there has been several Ebola outbreaks in Africa in the past, all that were contained. Now the reasons this outbreak is so noticeable is because it’s the most deadly one up to date, and the most reported thanks to the rise of social media frenzies.
3. It’s actually pretty difficult to get infected.
It’s true! In order to get infected you need to get in contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has the disease. Though if a hospital consists of proper infection-control procedures, then I hate to break it down to you, it’s unlikely to spread.
Wash your hands, indeed the old fashioned cold is more contagious.
4. The reason Ebola has spread in Africa isn’t because it’s impossible to contain, it’s because of politics and cultural barriers.
You see, the reasons Ebola has been so difficult to address in a lot of countries is because of the lack of knowledge on the subject. And on top of that, a lot of people in West Africa also don’t, well, trust their governments, making it so much more difficult to coordinate a tactical response.
Furthermore, in contrast to developed countries, healthcare officials and government led medical operations in West Africa are often met with violence and distrust. Also, burial practices in the region involve rituals that foster the spread of the disease.
5. Catching Ebola doesn’t lead to a presumed automatic death.
Believe it or not, but Ebola doesn’t always kill those who get in contact with it. In fact, I know it’s quite a big number, but in terms of the current outbreak in West Africa, the disease has only killed about 50% of the people who have gotten infected.
Granted, those who do survive, return to 100% full health and are not in risk of infecting other people. Quality medical care, which is available in all MEDCs, can help people survive.
Picture Credit: EC/ECHO/Cyprien Fabre