Thursday, October 2, 2014

An Opposing VIew on the Dangers of an Ebola Outbreak in the US: Why There Won't Be an Ebola Outbreak in the United States

By Marina Koren

Remember Outbreak?

Good. Now forget about it, because, contrary to popular—and panicky—belief, what happened in the 1995 disaster film won't happen in the United States now that the nation has its first-ever case of the Ebola virus.

The infected patient, who has not been identified, is being treated at a Dallas hospital, 11 days after he arrived in the U.S. on a commercial flight from Liberia. That country is at the heart of an Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the deadliest since the virus was discovered in 1976. More than 6,200 people have been infected this year, and at least 2,917 of them have died, according to the latest numbers from the World Health Organization.

Yes, the virus itself is scary. There's no vaccine for it. There's no cure. It's fatal in patients 60 percent of the time when it's caught early, and 90 percent when it's discovered too late. An outbreak of the size and scope as the one in West Africa is a reality for the citizens of the affected countries. For Americans, it's fiction.

Aside from a possible "handful" who came in contact with the patient in Dallas, people in the U.S. have not come into contact with the blood, vomit, sweat, feces, or any other bodily fluids of a person infected with Ebola, which is how the virus spreads. Nor do the conditions that contributed to the spread of West Africa's outbreak exist to a serious degree in the U.S. Here are some of those circumstances.

Read the rest here.

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