Unfortunately Because We Have To: Part 1 – Ebola
We didn’t want to write about Ebola because it’s not a legitimate news story in our opinion, but everyone is talking about it meaning the misinformation has been flowing. We apologize for condescension in advance, but we see the same people whom complain about media fueled hysteria with certain stories intensely focused on a disease that has an incredibly remote chance of being contracted which has killed one person in the U.S.
Ebola Is Droplet-Borne Not Airborne
“No virus that causes disease in humans has ever been known to mutate to change its mode of transmission. This means it is highly unlikely that Ebola has mutated to become airborne. It is, however, droplet-borne — and the distinction between the two is crucial.
Doctors mean something different from the public when they talk about a disease being airborne. To them, it means that the disease-causing germs are so small they can live dry, floating in the air for extended periods, thus capable of traveling from person to person at a distance. When inhaled, airborne germs make their way deep into the lungs.
Chickenpox, measles and tuberculosis are airborne diseases. Droplets of mucus and other secretions from the nose, mouth and respiratory tract transmit other diseases, including influenza and smallpox.
When someone coughs, sneezes or, in the case of Ebola, vomits, he releases a spray of secretions into the air. This makes the infection droplet-borne. Some hospital procedures, like placing a breathing tube down a patient’s air passage to help him breathe, may do the same thing.
Droplet-borne germs can travel in these secretions to infect someone a few feet away, often through the eyes, nose or mouth. This may not seem like an important difference, but it has a big impact on how easily a germ spreads. Airborne diseases are far more transmittable than droplet-borne ones.”
How Not To Get Ebola
Stay away from people with Ebola. This is unlike other infectious diseases that actually kill many more Americans at a faster rate where practices such as food cleanliness and safer sex decreases chances of exposure.
Worry About These Viruses Before Ebola
According to LiveScience, approximately two people now die yearly in the United States from rabies, which is transmitted to people through saliva when they are bitten by infected animals such as dogs or bats. Rabies has one of the highest fatality rates of any virus; only three people in the United States are known to have ever survived the disease without receiving the vaccine after exposure to the virus. The disease remains a greater threat in other areas of the world than in the United States. Approximately 55,000 people die of rabies every year in Africa and Asia.
About 15,500 people with an AIDS diagnosis died in 2010 in the United States. The virus attacks a person’s immune cells and weakens the immune system over time, making it very difficult for the infected individual to fight off other diseases. In total, an estimated 650,000 people have died of AIDS in the United States since the disease was discovered in 1981. An estimated 1.6 million people worldwide died of HIV and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) related causes in 2012. An estimated 36 million people have died worldwide from the epidemic.
The average number of annual deaths in the United States from influenza numbers somewhere between 3,000 and 49,000. A highly contagious virus, influenza sickens far more people than it kills, with an estimated 3 million to 5 million people becoming seriously ill yearly from influenza viruses. The most recent influenza pandemic, the “swine flu” or H1N1 pandemic, killed between 151,700 and 575,400 people globally during 2009 and 2010. Worldwide, the flu causes an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 deaths every year.
West Nile Virus
A viral neurological disease that is spread by mosquitos that bite humans after feasting on birds infected with the virus, the vast majority of people infected will not show symptoms of West Nile Virus, but the disease has killed an estimated 1,200 people in the United States since it was first seen here in 1999. Spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, viruses such as Dengue, West Nile and Yellow Fever kill more than 50,000 people worldwide every year. Malaria, which kills more than 600,000 annually, is also spread by mosquitos but is caused by a parasite rather than a virus.
At least 40 percent of the world’s population, or about 2.5 billion people, are at risk of serious illness and death from mosquito-borne viral diseases. Dengue fever, a deadly infection that causes high fevers and can lead to septic shock, is endemic to parts of South America, Mexico, Africa and Asia, claims approximately 22,000 lives every year. Even more deadly than Dengue is Yellow Fever, which mostly affects people in Latin America and Africa. The disease causes an estimated 30,000 deaths worldwide.
Despite routine vaccinations for rotavirus in the United States, the CDC estimates that between 20 and 60 children under age 5 die every year from untreated dehydration caused by the virus. Approximately 111 million cases of gastroenteritis caused by rotavirus are reported every year globally. The vast majority of those affected by the virus are children under the age of 5, and about 82 percent of deaths associated with the virus occur in children in developing nations. Globally, an estimated 440,000 children who contract the virus die each year from complications, namely dehydration.
The world provides us with plenty of things that we should be worried about on a daily basis. Ebola as one of those things should be given little to no priority on your list.