My mom, an infection control nurse for 23 years, used to say that fear would kill more people during a disease outbreak than the illness itself. She was right on the money with Ebola — people are (over) reacting, firing household help, taking passengers off planes and panicking like the planet killing asteroid has been spotted in the sky. Certainly not our finest hour… too many of us aren’t even using the reasoning that’s supposed to make us so superior.
You CANNOT catch Ebola from casual contact. The organism does not transmit that way.
You can only catch Ebola from DIRECT PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH blood, sweat, saliva, vomit, feces or other bodily fluid from an infected person. Now I don’t know about you all, but just what are you doing that you’re in close personal contact with these fluids? As for the rest of us, there’s no need to panic.
If that’s not enough to calm your fears, ask yourself, have you been vacationing in any of the three places (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone) hardest hit by the epidemic? They’re not exactly the “destination” vacation spot, so more liley your answer here is another reason why you have nothing to fear from Ebola.
Unless, of course you’re a healthcare pro like that poor unfortunate nurse treating a foreigner in a shamefully unprepared Dallas area hospital, then you have cause for concern… anger even. Imagine the sheer gall of an institution in the business of caring (and charging) patients for healthcare services not having a plan in place as to how they might handle a dangerous disease that, thanks to our ability to travel, could end up on their doorstep. My mother would be horrified at the lack of due diligence by people who are supposed to know better.
Every hospital in America needs to see this incident as a wake up call and be ready, just in case.
Also at risk (sadly) are our soldiers who are being sent over to those nations. Whatever job you do… take care. Take every precaution you can. Hopefully the work you do will be beneficial and brief and you’ll be home, healthy and whole, soon.
As to the illnesses you’re (far) more likely to encounter… Enterovirus d68 and the flu can pack a serious punch. Enterovirus comes from having close contact with someone who is infected, or touching things that have the virus on them. Changing diapers of an infected patient is another easy route of transmission. You catch the flu from the droplets (they travel up to 6 ft.) in a cough, sneeze or the saliva spewed when someone talks. Flu can also pass when you touch a surface someone with the flu has touched.
To protect yourself and the people you love…
- Get your flu shot, now up through early December for best protection.
- Wash your hands, as much as you can, to a chorus of “happy birthday”
- Stay away from sick people, and stay home yourself if you’re not feeling well
- Disinfect surfaces many people touch, phones, doorknobs, keyboards, etc.
- Forget what Jenny McCarthy, or anyone else tells you about childhood vaccines — get your children vaccinated. Mumps (once eradicated) are making a comeback.
See… all simple, old-fashioned common sense. No need to panic.