Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ebola panic sweeps nation By: Alexa Johnson

   Unless you have been living under a rock, you have most likely heard about the ever- so threatening Ebola virus. The Ebola virus originates from West Africa, it first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks, one in Nzara, Sudan, Yambuku and the other in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ebola is spread by direct contact such as, broken skin, organs or other bodily fluid of infected people.
   The first symptoms of Ebola include fever, fatigue, muscle weakness, sore throat and in some rare cases internal or external bleeding. Despite the gruesome symptoms, there really is not much to worry about. The single digit of people in America that have it are being quarantined and cannot come in contact with anyone not wearing a biohazard suit. The safety measures in America are so much stronger than in third world countries why it spreads so easily in those countries. So for those worrying about an outbreak you have nothing to stress about.
    While Ebola is a terrible disease it has been prevalent in Africa since the 1970s and the media has just now caught up with it when it came to America so living in constant fear that you will catch Ebola won’t really help matters. Also, living in a very progressive country we have more medical knowledge and supplies to fight off an outbreak should one happen. The Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) is doing everything they can to screen people coming from the effected regions of Africa.
    The first Ebola diagnosis in the U.S was reported September 30 at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas and sadly, the patient died on October 8. The CDC then reports a second case diagnosed on October 11th, a nurse at the same hospital the first patient was treated in. 
    A third case at the same site, another health care worker caring for the patient, was diagnosed October 15. Among earlier confirmed U.S. Ebola cases were two Americans who returned already ill from West Africa for treatment at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. They were treated and released virus free. In a Gallup poll of over one thousand Americans taken on October 5, 2014, one fifth were worried about contracting Ebola. Still, the chances you'll be exposed to Ebola in the United States are very low because of the tight infection control practices of public health workers here.
   CDC workers are taking steps to identify anyone who may have been in contact with the first patients with Ebola, who were hospitalized in Texas. Health workers are stepping up infection control practices that will include isolating any of the patients' contacts who may become ill. Tom Frieden M.D director of the CDC stressed in a public statement that the situation here in the United States, where health care systems are strong, will be far different from the experience in West Africa. He noted that he has no doubts about the ability to contain Ebola here.

   Meanwhile, public health officials are working hard in West Africa to contain the disease and prevent its spread. Researchers around the world are looking for ways to prevent and treat Ebola by searching for a vaccine and cure. The first human safety tests of a new trial vaccine are underway, developed with the U.S. National Institutes of Health. 

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