Saturday, 2 August 2014

Ebola: 5 Facts The Media Forgot To Tell You!

On a normal day, I worry about how often I wash my hands. I wash them a lot. So imagine my paranoia when I heard about the Ebola virus. It was disturbing enough when people in other West African countries were dealing with the disease. When I heard about the Liberian that died in Lagos, I began to lose sleep. My very active imagination played out all the possible scenarios and ways one could get ebola. It was not pretty.

I attended an event last week where I met an acquaintance I hadn't seen in a while. In my excitement I rushed for a hug and she hesitated, apologetically blaming ebola. I shrugged and jokingly added, that while we are here worrying about death by Ebola, rapture will take place. We both laughed and went our separate ways.

The disease has gotten a lot of attention, rightly so considering the sheer number of people it has killed in its wake, but really should we be that afraid? That paranoid? I wasn't sure so I decided to do some research. You know how it is, the bible says, 'My people perish for lack of knowledge.'

What I found was reassuring to say the least. While the media has done a great job in keeping everyone abreast of the latest Ebola updates, it has done an unbelievably dismal job of reducing the fear and panic that has gripped the average west african. The following represent the facts about Ebola and its transmission (Beyond what might already be out there):
  •  The virus is often spread through families and friends because they come in close contact with such secretions when caring for infected persons. - Center For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC)
  • Human to human transmission is only achieved by physical contact with the body fluids of a person who is acutely ill or who has died from Ebola. Transmission among humans is mainly among caregiver family members or health care workers tending to the very ill, or in preparation of the body of a deceased case for burial. - US Embassy (Liberia), July 28th, 2014
  • A person can have the virus without symptoms for 2-21 days, the average being 5 to 8 days before becoming ill.  The person is not contagious until they are acutely ill. (Technically, if the person beside you does not look sick, he/she cannot infect you. Emphasis mine.) US Embassy (Liberia), July 28th, 2014
  •  While all Ebola virus species have displayed the ability to be spread through airborne particles under research conditions, this type of spread has not been documented among humans in a real-world setting, such as a hospital or household. (In other words, the disease is not airborne. Emphasis mine.) - CDC
  • Casual contact in public places with people that do not appear to be sick do not transmit Ebola. One cannot contract Ebola virus by handling money, groceries or swimming in a pool. Mosquitoes do not transmit the Ebola virus. - National Center For Disease Control, India

Based on the facts above I'd say breathe easy, sleep better. No need to chew your your nails in anxiety. Ebola is most likely not coming for you except if you deliberately expose yourself to unsafe conditions. Take simple precautions; keep a hand sanitizer in your bag or pocket and use sparingly. Eat like you normally would but be sure to cook animal products properly. While you are at it, spread hope, not fear.

And have yourself a very swell weekend.

©Naomi Lucas
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Hairy Diary said...

Likewise! Thank you for the word. Sigh

Naomi Lucas said...

My pleasure hairy.

Anonymous said...

Hand sanitizer is ineffective as it kills bacteria, and ebola, a virus, would remain on your hands. Best to wash often. Otherwise great advice. I too was freaked out until I did my research.

Naomi Lucas said...

Great point anon. Thanks for the feedback.

Naomi Lucas said...

Great point anon. Thanks for the feedback.