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Ebola Update

With the first case of Ebola diagnosed in New York City just over a week ago and a few cases in Dallas, the virus has garnered the attention of more than just late night television hosts. This disease that once seemed so distant in Liberia and Sierra Leone is now in the US, and people are worried. Just yesterday, the CDC announced ebola can be spread through a sneeze. There are numerous news segments about why you should be worried and what the government is doing to contain, but it is important to know the facts before worrying that you may, in fact, get Ebola.

Dr. Craig Spencer, the New Yorker who has Ebola, was in Liberia treating those suffering from the illness. He was responsible about checking himself daily when he returned to the U.S. to see if he had a fever or symptoms. Yes, he did ride the subway, go bowling, and eat at a restaurant, but, as far as he knew, there was no reason to be concerned. Also, the Ebola virus survives for just a few hours on any given surface, such as a bus seat or a countertop.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey’s Chris Christie have imposed orders to quarantine any healthcare workers who were in West Africa, upon their return to the United States. The CDC has since attempted to overturn these rules. The governor of Illinois is also considering implementing this policy. While this idea seems productive, critics argue it will deter people from embarking on mission trips to Sierra Leone and Liberia and will, therefore, enable Ebola to continue to spread throughout Africa and the rest of the world.

The public is getting so caught-up in worrying about getting Ebola but many know little about it. It is all right to stay informed and be updated on the latest developments in the ongoing Ebola saga, but remember not to let the dramatic news anchors scare you. Yes, this illness should be taken seriously, but it is not the only problem in the world at the moment.

Below is a list of Ebola symptoms from the CDC website:

  • Fever
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)
¬†Written by Oliver Kornberg’15
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