Public Health

Don't Freak Out About Ebola Coming to America

The disease is scary, but the risks are low.

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I'm sure none of you would want to emulate Donald Trump, but just in case you're tempted to follow his lead and freak out about the Ebola patients coming to the U.S. for treatment, here's Danielle N. Lee to talk some sense into you:

Are you sure these outfits are necessary, Dustin? Emory is two thousand miles away.
Warner Bros.

It is a frightening prospect to have a disease with a 80-90 percent mortality rate so close to home. People are concerned that once Ebola arrives in the US, people here will get sick and the disease will spread.

There are two things, however, that are important for everyone to understand.

First, Ebola is already here in the US. Scientists have been studying the disease in well-secured laboratories for years, and there has been no trouble.

In other words, there have been no new cases or incidences of Ebola from these previous exposures to Ebola and related viral hemorrhagic fever diseases.

Second, Ebola is actually very hard to contract….[C]ontracting Ebola involves coming into direct contact with an infected person's body fluids, namely blood and feces. Caretakers such as relatives and medical staff are at high risk of becoming infected. Otherwise, the chances of anyone else in the community contracting Ebola is practically zero. Transmission can be avoided by wearing protective clothing and gloves, washing your hands, and avoiding physical contact with individuals who are sick.

Read the rest here. Reason's Ron Bailey discussed some related Ebola fears here.