You remember the last outbreak of Ebola in Africa; the highly disturbing disease that spawned movies like “Outbreak” and “The Happening”, well now Ebola is back and seemingly more devastating than ever.
With all the hype and media coverage what are the actual facts about this devastating disease ripping through West Africa? Well it’s time to break down the nonsense and tell it like it is…
10. Ebola hemorrhagic fever or EHF is disease that effects humans and was noticed first in 1976. There are many strains of Ebola and the disease originally came from bats.
9. Ebola has infected and killed more people this year than it ever has before. It has now moved into a more population dense area of West Africa.
8. The World Health Organization (WHO) claims Ebola has an average fatality rate of 83% and in some populations up to 95% fatality rate.
7. Ebola as the name implies is a hemorrhagic fever and one of the main symptoms is heavy bleeding. Although the bleeding itself doesn’t kill you, it sets off a chain reaction in your body where all your organs simply shut down.
6. Contrary to current beliefs, Ebola is actually not highly contagious and can only be transmitted through close contact of bodily fluids. Many family members often contract the disease from being in close proximity to the ill family member. An African tradition is to wash the dead body before the funeral; this can also lead to infection.
5. Another popular misconception is Ebola is an airborne virus and with the recent discovery of an infected health worker in the US, many fears have spread about a possible epidemic, when in fact Ebola in not airborne at all (not like the common flu) and can only be caught through bodily fluids.
4. Some people actually have a natural immunity to Ebola (up to 15% of the population of some Africa countries carry the Ebola anti-bodies). This currently baffles scientists, as there has been an outbreak of the virus in that particular area.
3. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for Ebola…yet but many are being worked on right now.
2. Even with all the hype about the current Ebola outbreak, which has killed over 1,000 people in Africa it pales in comparison to Malaria, one of the greatest killers ever. This kills over 600,000 Africans each year on average.
1. AIDS which claimed the lives of over 1.2 million Africans last year alone is still a major problem in Africa so let’s not lose focus on what the real problems are. In fact more people die of bee-stings and falling off of horses in the US than do people of Ebola in Africa.