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Five Reasons Not to Panic over the Ebola Virus

Five Reasons not to Panic over the Ebola Virus Saurage Research Healthcare Key FindingsWith news of the Ebola virus infecting Americans it stands to reason that people are worried. Ebola is frightening as it typically kills 90 percent of the people who get it, and the most recent outbreak is the largest in history.The number of people who have died has risen to at least 932 according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Although a handful of Americans are currently being treated for Ebola in the US the possibility of actually catching Ebola is incredibly remote. According to a CNN report here are five reasons not to panic.

            1. Ebola is an incredibly fragile virus. It does not fly through the air with the greatest of ease. It cannot be transmitted through a cough or a sneeze and it doesn’t move easily from human to human like the common cold. While Ebola is aggressively infectious it is not highly contagious. “The Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with blood, secretions or other body fluids of ill people and indirect contact – for example, with needles and other things that may be contaminated with these fluids,” said Stephen Monroe, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Emerging Zoonitic and Infectious Diseases.
            2. We know how it works. Although there is no vaccine and no cure, the one real advantage we have with Ebola is that doctors know how to control it. Common-sense hygiene can stop its spread. “Ebola is a virus that can be stopped and not spread in hospitals. The stakes are higher, but it’s easily inactivated with typical hospital disinfectants,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden
            3. We have the resources to contain it. Most ICUs have isolation rooms that are used for patients suspected to have tuberculosis, SARS, Middle East respiratory syndrome or another infectious disease. This would be the same for an Ebola patient, though more stringent precautions might be taken to ensure that healthcare workers are following all protocols.
            4. The doctors treating the American Ebola patients are prepared. They know how to handle Ebola and use an abundance of precaution when working with an infected person. Medical workers across the country have also been told to watch out for Ebola symptoms and question patients who have recently traveled to West Africa. They are trained to recognize Ebola cases and can quarantine them early, keeping others from coming into contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids while the disease runs its course.
            5. Airports are on alert. Passengers at African airports in the Ebola-affected region are being closely screened. Health experts are watching for people with high fevers and those who have a temperature are removed and monitored while doctors test their blood for Ebola. At US airports, trained federal agents also watch for sick passengers. If someone is sick, agents can remove them and keep them in special isolation units at many US airports until the CDC arrives to ask further questions.

Overall, health experts say, the threat to Americans remains relatively small.


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