(The following excerpt from Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Panic About The First US Case Of Ebola by Jennifer Welsh and Kate Jennings recently appeared on businessinsider.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)
With the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the US just announced by the CDC, there’s a big fear the virus could threaten human health here in the states. The idea is terrifying, not only because the symptoms are horrible, but because the current outbreak has a 71% mortality rate.
The current outbreak of the deadly virus, which is thought to originate in bats, has killed more than 3,000 and infected 6,574 people in West Africa. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and often bleeding inside and outside the body.
That said, here’s why you shouldn’t panic about it being in US:
1. We know how to control the virus — what precautions need to be taken when treating someone with Ebola.
2. It doesn’t spread effectively through humans when properly contained — it’s not very contagious and doesn’t spread through the air.
3. Our healthcare system is strong enough to care for the few cases that show up.
US government officials and health experts say Ebola will not spread through the US like it has in West Africa.
Though patients may sporadically arrive, and potentially even infect others they are in close contact with in the US, our healthcare system is strong enough that an epidemic is unlikely to grow from these sporadic instances.
“[T]he plain truth is that we can stop Ebola,” Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told ABC’s “This Week.” “We know how to control it.”