What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us
We’ve all read articles about the inevitable demise of our population, the incoming apocalypse, and the real life zombie invasion: EBOLA. But how much do we really know about the disease?
According to the World Health Organization, Ebola first appeared in 1976 with an outbreak in Sudan and another in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ebola is a scary-ass disease that was originally introduced by fruit bats, then to monkeys and eventually humans. It’s transmitted from bodily fluids and is not actually airborne, although if someone with Ebola sneezed in the seat next to you, you’re doomed.
Symptoms usually show up with two to 21 days, and include things like fever, muscle pain, headaches, and increase to vomiting, diarrhea, impaired kidneys and liver, and eventually you just bleed from the inside and out…gross. The average fatality rate is around 50%, but can vary from 25-90%.
Via: Daily Mail
Ebola has already taken over 3,000 lives in West Africa. In America, the first case was a man named Thomas Duncan, who came from Liberia and was diagnosed on September 30th and passed away October 8th. Since, there were two nurses that tended to Duncan that have been diagnosed, and most recently, a man from New York who was in Africa working with Ebola patients for Doctors Without Borders.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find a cure. Vaccine development is characterized by failure, costs a ton of money and takes years to make progress. It seems that we still don’t know enough about it and some researchers are hesitant to mess with something so serious (Ebola is biohazard level 4, which is the highest level.)
However, while finding a cure is far off, researchers have found a way to program a tiny piece of paper in order to detect the virus. While it’s still in its early stages, it seems likely that the test will be developed more as the disease spreads to other countries. The technology could even be adapted to test for other diseases in addition to Ebola.
Via: Animal Experiments
There hasn’t been a large outbreak in the United States, so people may not think to worry about this disease. However, many people don’t know that the few cases we’ve had so far are not the first ones to occur in the United States. There was a case of Ebola in America in the 90s, but that case included two monkeys in a lab, so no one made much of a fuss. Now that humans have become diagnosed with it, Ebola is all we can talk about.
So should we all be freaking out, or should we listen to others that say to ignore the hype? That’s a question I keep asking myself. My mother is a nurse and once she told me to “always be careful” and “wash my hands,” it prompted me to truly start worrying.
Luckily, UF Health already has a plan in place. They’re teaching staff how to handle the patients, what steps to take and all that jazz.
Yes, we’ve all seen the funny memes talking about more people that have died from [insert pop culture reference] than Ebola, but don’t let that be all you read about the disease. Yes, there are tons of false articles circulating about “potential” cases and the like, but don’t let that numb you to the harsh reality that is the Ebola outbreak.
No matter what, this horrible illness is taking the lives of people across the world, it’s taking their lives fast and it’s spreading even faster. Whether you’re skeptical or scared shitless, you should at least be knowledgeable.
Stay safe, and may the odds be ever in your favor.
Feature photo courtesy of: Huffington Post