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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Ebola is not a cause for panic, but a cause for concern

Ebola’s limited modes of transmission make it unlikely that the illness will spread in the United States. (PHOTO CREDIT : TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE)

Society will not last forever. However, as far as the the things that will be the coup de grâce for humanity goes, Ebola is not high on that list.

For those who have not watched any major news networks in the last month, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever is a disease that has claimed the lives of nearly three thousand Africans and a single American in the recent outbreak. In some American’s minds, Ebola is a disease that is basically a bad case of the flu, while according to others (including what seems like most of CNN), Ebola is the new Black Plague that will destroy us all. In reality, the true threat of Ebola lies somewhere in the middle and treatment is a complex sociopolitical issue. And no, despite what Fox News says, its not Obama’s fault.

Ebola is a disease caused by the Ebola virus that affects the entire human body. Symptoms of ebola include to fatigue, fever, headaches, severe pain and severe internal bleeding. The mortality rate ranges from 25 percent to 90 percent depending on how it is treated, and there is no known cure for the disease. The facts of the disease can be scary, to say the least. Ebola definitely is one of the deadliest diseases in the world, and something that should not be taken lightly.

However, Ebola is simply not virulent enough to cause a severe outbreak that many people fear. Ebola is transmitted by contact with body fluids of infected individuals, which severely limits its spread when compared to an airborne disease, like Influenza. Simply put, if you have not touched the blood, semen or other bodily fluids of an infected person or a West African bat, you are probably not going to catch Ebola. It is the lack of this information that has caused the outbreak in Western Africa, and it is this knowledge that will most likely keep it from spreading in America. Ebola also has a short period of contagiousness with very visible symptoms, preventing the spread further.

An average American should not fear Ebola. However, we should very much care about Ebola. There are thousands of Africans suffering from Ebola, and so much of this suffering can be prevented. Proper medical care can save hundreds of lives, and medical personnel risk their lives to bring this to the people of Africa.

It takes a supremely brave person to fly halfway across the world to a panic-stricken Third World country, hazarding murder at the hands of a fearful populace and being infected with a disease that results in one of the worst deaths imaginable a quarter of the time even with the best treatment available. These people are truly heroes, and they deserve our support.

You can help by donating to Doctors Without Borders, an organization that goes out to help cure this awful disease. Ebola is not a disease that deserves our fear as a society. This is an opportunity for us to come together to work together to help out our downtrodden fellow humans stricken by this illness in West Africa.

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  • J

    Jack SlavutskyNov 2, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Very useful article, thank you my grandson, I very proud of you.
    Your grandpa Jack

  • L

    Lana RoweOct 10, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Well said Zach.