Ebola is No Problem in the U.S.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that the mass media fear machine is working overtime these days, using the Ebola outbreak to promote anxiety and paranoia.
I’ve seen headlines claiming Ebola is “out of control” or that the spread of the disease to the U.S. is “inevitable.” Others are insisting that we should not be bringing Americans who’ve been sickened abroad home for treatment because it will start a pandemic.
It’s time for everyone to take a deep breath and look at the facts. I guarantee that once you do, you’ll see that those scare headlines are way off base, if not completely wrong.
Yes, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Ebola outbreak in Africa an international public health emergency.
But the purpose of that announcement was to rally the international medical community to provide assistance to the West African countries – Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone – where the outbreak is currently taking place.
The WHO emergency announcement does not mean you are at increased risk of Ebola.
To date, the current Ebola outbreak is the longest and largest appearance of the disease. More than 1200 people in Africa have died in the current outbreak, and the figure is steadily rising.
But are we looking at a worldwide pandemic in the making? I don’t think so.
The Ebola virus is only transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids (blood, mucus, etc.) of people who are ill. The disease can also be passed on via needles or other medical equipment contaminated by these fluids.
Ebola’s early symptoms are much like those of the flu – muscle pains, weakness, fever, sore throat, and headache. Sometimes patients have chest pains, trouble swallowing or breathing, or they might develop a rash. Vomiting and diarrhea appear as the disease advances, followed by bleeding, both internal and external.
There are no remedies for Ebola, which can be fatal in as many as 90 percent of cases. When it comes to treatment, healthcare workers try to make the patient as comfortable as possible, with plenty of fluids and pain relief.
But here’s the key thing you need to know:
There is no evidence of airborne transmission from human to human. In other words, Ebola does not spread by coughs or sneezes, like the common cold or flu.
Scaremongers’ claims that Ebola could spread like wildfire in this country are simply not true. Sanitation standards and cultural practices, like caring for the dead, are far different in Africa than here.
The practice of washing the body of a deceased relative for traditional African burial, for example, can expose healthy individuals to disease-carrying bodily fluids.
In addition, many people in these countries are malnourished, so their immune systems are already compromised, making them more susceptible to the virus.
What about those international travelers who could arrive here not knowing they are sick? In theory, it’s possible that someone with Ebola could fly here before symptoms occur.
But federal agents on the ground at airports and border patrol officials elsewhere can stop anyone who appears sick and hold them in isolation until they can be taken to a hospital.
Many American hospitals are equipped to quarantine infectious disease patients and have protocols in place to prevent spreading of the virus. So even if a few people are brought here for treatment, Americans are not at risk.
In the meantime, keep in mind that Ebola is nowhere near the top of the list when it comes to deadly diseases. Malaria, for instance, which infects millions, kills nearly 70 people every hour, compared to an average of about 70 deaths per year attributable to Ebola.
Even ordinary influenza, another disease contracted by millions every year, is far more lethal than Ebola, with 20,000 to 30,000 deaths annually in this country alone.
Although I don’t see any reason to panic over Ebola, we should all be aware that a pandemic of some sort could occur any time. So what can you do to protect against these types of diseases? Here are my five top suggestions ….
- Preventing infections starts with boosting your immune system. Start with a diet of whole, unprocessed foods, and lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Get at least seven to eight hours of deep, restful sleep each night. If you have sleep problems, try melatonin supplements. Not only is it great for sleep, but its antioxidant abilities strengthen immunity.
- Stay thoroughly hydrated by drinking plenty of fresh, filtered water throughout the day.
- Get regular, moderate exercise each day. Working out hard enough to break a sweat stimulates removal of toxins and other waste material from your body.
- Take a high-quality multivitamin supplement, along with plenty of vitamins C (2,000 to 4,000 mg) and D (at least 1,500 IUs) daily. Adding curcumin supplements (500 mg, up to three times daily) for anti-viral effects is also a good idea.
Whatever you do, please don’t stress over the Ebola outbreak. Stress can really take a toll on your immune system. So, worrying over something that’s not a real threat actually does more damage to your health and does nothing to keep you safe.
Last Updated: August 16, 2018
Originally Published: August 21, 2014