Don't Panic: Sensationalized Ebola Coverage is Misleading

Ebola

EBOLA IN AMERICA is what the headlines are screaming. But it’s not… entirely the case. You see, most media coverage is wanting you to think one thing happened, when actually something else entirely happened.

The press is trying to mislead you to make you afraid, because fear sells. I don’t like press bias even when it’s apolitical, so I’m taking a stand against the fear mongering, right here.

Here are the facts: There are zero known cases of Ebola contracted in the United States. I know what you’re thinking: but they said Ebola in America! EBOLA! But no. The fact is, the case you heard about was the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States. The individual contracted Ebola in Liberia, but simply wasn’t diagnosed with it until returning to America.

There’s a big difference between contraction and diagnosis. Diagnosis simply means the disease was noticed in America. Contraction means the disease is spreading in America. As of now we have no evidence the disease has spread in America at all. Quoth Tom Frieden, head of the CDC:

Ebola can be scary. But there’s all the difference in the world between the U.S. and parts of Africa where Ebola is spreading. The United States has a strong health care system and public health professionals who will make sure this case does not threaten our communities. While it is not impossible that there could be additional cases associated with this patient in the coming weeks, I have no doubt that we will contain this.

The fact is, Ebola doesn’t actually spread all that easily. It’s not like a cold or a flu, diseases that spread easily in an airborne manner, as seen in the post-World War I flu pandemic, and of course in the perpetual spread of the cold that we always see. Ebola spreads through fluids, much like AIDS does. Says the CDC:

The data health officials have seen in the past few decades since Ebola was discovered indicate that it is not spread through casual contact or through the air. Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person or exposure to objects such as needles that have been contaminated.

Don’t want to get Ebola? Wash your hands. Don’t sleep around. Don’t shoot up drugs with other people’s needles. Don’t eat meat lying on the side of the road.

There, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Now relax and live your life.