Ebola outbreak scares citizens

Dakota Phillips ‘15

Opinions Editor

Ebola is a vicious virus that leads to death in humans. Last March, the Ebola virus appeared in West Africa, creating the largest outbreak of the Since March, Ebola has spread to other countries such as Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal. Most recently, Ebola has found its way to the United States, manifesting itself in several known cases of the virus.

According to www.who.int, symptoms of Ebola include fatigue, headaches, and sore throat. This leads to a rash, vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness of the liver and kidney. From then on, internal and external bleeding takes place, which then leads to a painful death.

Ebola has been extremely rare since it was first discovered. Since it has now made its way to the forefront, everyone is wondering if they can get it. Ebola can only be contracted from blood or bodily fluids from a person infected with Ebola. It is not airborne, which means it cannot be transmitted by sneezing or coughing, says www.who.int.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention website (cdc.gov), stated that the first case of Ebola to appear in the United States was located in Dallas, Texas. A man with the virus traveled from Liberia to his home in Texas. About four days after his return to Texas, he first started experiencing symptoms of Ebola. Once diagnosed with the Ebola virus, doctors attempted to treat the patient but he passed away on October 8.

Two of the nurses who took care of this man obtained the virus from him. Both of these nurses were quarantined immediately after testing positive for Ebola. One of the nurses, Both were monitored and are Ebola-free.

Since Ebola has stealthily infiltrated the United States, only appearing in few states, does this mean people need to be worried about Ebola? Anne DaVia, Health Occupations teacher, thinks the citizens in Michigan do not need to fret.

“I think we should always be diligent with practicing good health habits,” said DaVia.

As of now, there is a team of health workers located in West Africa trying to help treat those with the virus. In President Barack Obama’s speech on October 28, he stated that the nation should recognize the health care worker’s bravery and heroism.

“It’s typical of what Americans do best,” said Obama in usatoday.com, “When others are in trouble, when disease or disaster strikes, Americans help.”

Some may think that the outbreak could get severe, but DaVia does not think so.

“It is devastating to several African countries,” stated DaVia, “CDC and WHO are doing much to contain the infection and prevent a pandemic.”

When it comes to taking control of the virus, many have different opinions.

DaVia said, “I think our elected officials should heed the advice of our infection control experts instead of making it a political issue.”

With this virus becoming more prominent, it has Americans nervous. Even though Ebola is rare in the United States compared to other countries, taking precautions should not be ignored. Citizens should do what they do on the daily to prevent getting sick, such as consistent hand-washing, taking vitamins, and more. As an extra safety measure to help prevent Ebola, citizens should avoid human- to- human transmission of bodily fluids, such as saliva and mucus, says www.who.int. Health care workers should be sure to wear gloves at all times while taking care of an ill person.

Even though there have been few cases in the United States, much provision has been taken when it comes to dealing with Ebola patients. Keeping the patient in isolation is key. Also, tracking down others that the patient could have been in contact with before they were diagnosed, and possibly transferred the virus to, is vital. Having the people who may have been in contact with the patient get tested is important, because they are at high risk of obtaining the virus, says cdc.com. This is done in hopes that if one does have Ebola, it can get treated immediately, and also to prevent it from spreading.

There is no FDA-approved vaccine or cure for Ebola. According to USNews.com, doctors are experimenting with different drugs and methods in order beat Ebola. There is no known cure for this virus.