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Clearing the Myths: 3 Truths You Should Know About Ebola

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The ebola virus under microscopic view.

The Ebola virus has been one of the most talked about-topics in recent months and is front and center on the news. However, as the disease has grown more popular in the public eye, several important facts have been misinterpreted. To dispel the viral rumors about the disease, here are the three truths you should know about Ebola.

1) Ebola is not airborne. A common trend in fears is that being in the same area as an Ebola infected person or giving them a high five will result in the catching of the disease.

Mrs. Stott, of the Science department, said, “One of the most common misconceptions is how easy it is to catch…You cannot get Ebola from someone who has no symptoms, but rather from someone who is vomiting on your shoes or bleeding or  from other bodily fluids.”

When reporters at the Chronicle asked whether giving an Ebola-infected person a high five could be harmful, she said “that is probably false, but why would you give a stranger a high-five anyway, but yes, it is not air-borne.”

In a video titled “Ebola Won’t Go Airborne” from slate.com, it is stated, “Ebola is spread only through contact with an infected symptomatic person’s blood or bodily fluids…scientific consensus is clear: Ebola has very little chance of going airborne”

Although the virus is constantly changing, it added, no virus can change its mode of transmission so quickly.

A map displaying countries where there are widespread cases of ebola.2) There is a treatment for Ebola.  With news networks like CNN and FOX reporting statistics of deaths in countries such as Sierra Leone, United States citizens have come to think that anyone who catches Ebola will die.

Mrs. Stott said, “It is a dangerous disease, but there is a treatment, in the sense that if you get enough fluids, hydration,regulate fever, chances are you are going to survive.”

So why are there so many deaths outside of the US?

“In countries, where it is common, they can’t keep people hydrated, they can’t quarantine them, and so, the medical workers are getting infected too…there is no proper treatment,” she said.

An article titled “Ebola Virus Infection FAQ” on WebMD,  supported what Mrs. Stott said.

In the article, Amesh Adalja, MD, an infectious disease doctor at the University of Pittsburgh said,“It’s hard to say exactly what the [death] rate would be in a modern hospital with all of its intensive care units.”

3) Once an Ebola patient has been treated, you cannot catch the disease. “There is no longer a virus load,” said Mrs. Stott. “You can’t get infected.”

According to dictionary.com, a virus load is the amount or concentration of a virus, as HIV, in the blood.”

CNN also stated in an article titled “What happens when you survive Ebola?” that when  Dr. Kent Brantley, who had Ebola and was released from the hospital following treatment, there were “no signs of the virus in his system,” according to the doctors.

Concerning the actual patient being immune to Ebola, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, “People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years, possibly longer. It is not known if people who recover are immune for life or if they can become infected with a different species of Ebola. “

Don’t get us wrong. This disease does pose a serious threat, and it is necessary to promote safety and sanitation. However, as the United States has the necessary resources and workforce to handle cases of the Ebola virus without creating hysteria, we hope the real facts are kept in perspective.

 

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Clearing the Myths: 3 Truths You Should Know About Ebola