Ebola: Should We Really Worry?

Ryan Moll

about-ebolaThe virus Ebola has created public concern and is attracting a lot attention on social media and in the news. The Ebola Virus Disease, more commonly known as Ebola first showed up in Guinea in late 2013 when a child died of the illness. Transmitted by fluids, the disease quickly spread through neighboring countries in Africa. With over 8,000 cases and 4,000 deaths, the 2014 Ebola outbreak quickly became the largest of four major Ebola outbreaks. Doctors Without Borders intervened in August 2014 describing the event as “catastrophic” and “deteriorating daily.”

On Sept. 30, the first person in the United States was diagnosed with Ebola and they died eight days later.

Part of the concern surrounding the Ebola Virus is the lack of treatment for the disease. Standard support involves keeping the  patient hydrated and managing their pain. With a death rate of about 50 percent, the disease is concerning.

This concern created the social media attention the disease has been receiving. Twitter has been exploding with posts about the virus, mostly comedic such as this one from user @youneedjesusss; “Can you get Ebola from raw cookie dough.”

Symptoms of Ebola usually begin with fatigue, fever, headaches, and aches but can also include throat and chest pain, hiccups, shortness of breath, and trouble swallowing.

These symptoms are similar to that of influenza and seem daunting to people. This is why there has been so much attention surrounding the virus.

“It’s a foreign virus,” said science teacher Jesse Elizondo, “I think it’s so scary because of the symptoms.” However, because there has been no serious outbreak in the United States, citizens should not be concerned about catching the disease.