Keep calm, wash your hands

Anxiety over Ebola is spreading faster than the actual virus. Some say it is the next plague. With transportation around the world being so easy, there is rising fear of where it will spread next. 

Ebola has been the hot topic of the news and the media has been all over each of the cases. The media has been very informative providing information on the signs, symptoms and where the virus has hit next, but has it been taken too far on the amount of coverage?

Even though the media has been informative, that is one of the reasons why people are overreacting. It is the stories of where the virus hit  next that is raising concern. 

When my roommate caught the typical cold bug, she started to get paranoid that she could possibly have gotten Ebola. The media got her worked up of how scary the virus is. The latest news is that the virus has hit New York, which means a lot of Californians are hoping it doesn’t make its way to the west. Mentioned in CNN news, the Doctors Without Borders physician who recently returned to New York from West Africa, has tested positive for the Ebola virus, becoming the first diagnosed case in the city, authorities said late Thursday. 

The doctor, identified as Craig Spencer, 33, came back from treating Ebola patients in Guinea on October 17 and developed a fever, nausea, pain and fatigue Thursday. He is in isolation and being treated at New York’s Bellevue Hospital, one of the eight hospitals statewide that Governor Andrew Cuomo designated earlier this month as part of Ebola preparedness plan. 

It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms. For instance, the signs and symptoms typically start between two days and three weeks after contacting the virus, with a fever, sore throat, muscle pain and headaches. 

Then, vomiting, diarrhea and rash usually follow along with decreased function of the liver and kidneys. At this time, generally, some people begin to bleed both internally and externally. It literally sounds like something out of a horror movie. 

Outbreak Control requires a coordinated series of medical services, along with a certain level of community engagement.  This includes, medical laboratory services, proper management of those who are infected and proper disposal of the dead through cremation or burial. Prevention includes decreasing the spread of disease from infected animals to humans. Wearing proper protective clothing and washing hands when around a person with the disease.

It is good that the media is providing a lot of information regarding the virus even though it may scare some people.  It informs precaution because people should be aware of what they are being exposed to, especially when it comes to traveling. Getting to places is a lot easier and faster then way back when. The time when the black plague or “black death” struck Europe, people did not have fast transportation as it does now. 

Ebola doesn’t have the capacity to spread like measles or tuberculosis, which can be transmitted by breathing the same air as an infected patient. It also doesn’t have the ability to infect a global population like the “Black Death” that killed up to half of Europe’s population in the 14th century. 

The best we can all do is keep calm, wash hands and remember more Americans have been married to Kim Kardashian than have died from Ebola.