We should not fear Ebola

Matthew Jabour

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Jan 13, 2012
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Ebola is one of the least infectious viruses in the modern age. On average, a person sick with ebola will only infect 1.5 to 2 people, and that's in Africa. Here, the risk is nearly negligible, since contact with other people's bodily fluids - the only way it can spread - is already quite rare. People made a lot of hullabaloo about some people with ebola entering the United States, but those people never infected anyone. Ebola is a rare disease that is only transmissible while its symptoms are noticeable, so the only time you have to worry about it is when you literally see somebody with it.

So why is there so much panic?

Because fear, unlike ebola, is highly transmissible. It spreads via airwave transmission, and many news stations become carriers. People thousands of miles away can be infected just by flipping through channels at an inopportune time. And some stations actually infect themselves on purpose in order to spread it, since those infected are more vulnerable to suggestions such as, 'this is all Obama's fault'.

So far, the only vaccine, actually informing people properly, has proven to be only somewhat effective. People with naturally deficient intelligence systems may reject the vaccine, which results in hallucinations that, for some reason, the CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL is lying to them in order to (why not) spread ebola more.

Fear is the true disease here. And we need to put a stop to it.

Symptoms of fear include: brain damage, hearing loss, blindness, paranoia, loss of respect from peers, and a compulsive urge to bomb small militant factions that couldn't assault their way out of a paper bag. Do not take Fox News if you are suffering from fear, as this has been proven to inflate symptoms. Recommended treatments include Animal Planet and CNN, television's leading providers of adorable cat videos.
 

tippy2k2

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I never understood the first world's fear of Ebola.

It's a pain in the ass to transmit. You've got to swap a bodily fluid for it to have a possibility to infect and for the most part, that just doesn't happen (by accident) all that often.

Even when it does transmit, from what I've seen, it's relatively easy to treat in the first world once it's determined that they have Ebola. From what I've read, the reason it's so devastating in second/third world places is that they don't have the medical system that a first world system has. Keeping hydrated seems to be the #1 way to fight it and that's just not easy in some places. America, however, is not one of those places.
 

DANEgerous

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This is rather true, before looking as to IF something is deadly you should first ask WHY. I know a lot of people, and a lot of them are less than what I would call intelligent (this sadly includes my parents) and they find Ebola very threatening like "This could kill 75% of the US" level threatening as if the threat of Ebola in a nation with no running water, disinfectant or contamination is equal to a nation that has such things in mass even in pour areas.

A rather simple solution is just ask if they know the epidemic of Ebola is not days but decades strong and that Malaria is 10,000 times worse, so if they are scared of Ebola, Malaria should have them literally die of fear. I will Have John Green explain it very well as I have shown this to people and they went "I had no idea" me being a knowledgeable and skeptical person was like "Seriously... Why not?"
 

koichi

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I think it's largely because Ebola is an INCREDIBLY unpleasant way to die. Everything else is secondary.
 

Veylon

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koichi said:
I think it's largely because Ebola is an INCREDIBLY unpleasant way to die. Everything else is secondary.
It's also (if you get it) an extremely likely way to die. Than (and the unpleasantness) matter more in a lot of peoples' minds than it's transmittability. Then there's the novelty of the disease; that always boost the scariness factor. It's not something like pneumonia or malaria or the flue that are familiar and have been around forever.
 

Olas

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Dec 24, 2011
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My only fear is a virus mutation that makes Ebola more easily transferable. The more people who get the disease the more replications and the more chances for it to transform into some sort of air-born nightmare disease.

Granted I don't consider that likely, but it's not science fiction either.
 

Matthew Jabour

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Veylon said:
koichi said:
I think it's largely because Ebola is an INCREDIBLY unpleasant way to die. Everything else is secondary.
It's also (if you get it) an extremely likely way to die. Than (and the unpleasantness) matter more in a lot of peoples' minds than it's transmittability. Then there's the novelty of the disease; that always boost the scariness factor. It's not something like pneumonia or malaria or the flue that are familiar and have been around forever.
HIV is a near certain killer, but people still don't use condoms all the time.
 

jethroe498

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May 7, 2012
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DANEgerous said:
This is rather true, before looking as to IF something is deadly you should first ask WHY. I know a lot of people, and a lot of them are less than what I would call intelligent (this sadly includes my parents) and they find Ebola very threatening like "This could kill 75% of the US" level threatening as if the threat of Ebola in a nation with no running water, disinfectant or contamination is equal to a nation that has such things in mass even in pour areas.

A rather simple solution is just ask if they know the epidemic of Ebola is not days but decades strong and that Malaria is 10,000 times worse, so if they are scared of Ebola, Malaria should have them literally die of fear. I will Have John Green explain it very well as I have shown this to people and they went "I had no idea" me being a knowledgeable and skeptical person was like "Seriously... Why not?"
Seriosuly, I can't believe that Americans are scared of this. People at my school are actually really scared of it, which is just absurd. Sometimes people just want something to be scared of.

That being said, I plan on going as ebola for halloween
 

Saetha

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Matthew Jabour said:
Seriously. I was done with ebola paranoiacs back when they were throwing a fit over the US bringing back those two infected Americans for treatment. The whole thing was riddled with contradictions, needless alarmism, and just... just absolute disregard for compassion and human life - "Why would they bring Ebola here? Let those Americans die for their country and stay over there!" and the like. Then there were the people saying it was too dangerous, they weren't being safe enough with the patients... only to turn around and say that the CDC's extreme caution proved that ebola was some airborne supervirus that ate children and murdered puppies.

Just... Jesus Christ. Are we really so quick to throw people to the wolves like that? To slander and ignore experts for favor of our own paranoia? The worst part is, people don't realize that this a big reason why ebola is such a big problem over in Africa - because people don't trust the experts and medical officials. They think they know better. They think there's some grand, shadowy conspiracy. And they'll fuck over everyone by letting that fear fester.

The worst are the people who compare it to the influenza epidemic, seemingly ignorant of the fact that influenza had a far higher body count by this point, back when the world had far less knowledge of medicine and disease, and that if ebola were anything like it, half the globe would be infected by now. What do you know, it's not. Almost like influenza and ebola are really only similar in that they're both diseases.

People need to stop panicking. They need to actually trust the people who degrees and doctorates in this stuff, rather than insisting they know better because they read a wikipedia article. Nurturing fear and mistrust in medical officials is not going to save anyone. It's going to make things so much worse.
 

CatLafitte

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Bird flu, swine flue, mad cow disease, sars... None of this actually turned into anything. Why would it be serious this time? There was even an ebola-thing going on in the 90s, but the only outcome there was a decent movie with Dustin Hoffman.
 

michael87cn

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Is saliva not a bodily fluid? Cuz you blow thousands of microscopic blobs of it with every breath. Let's not even talk about what happens when someone sneezes. It's REALLY disgusting. Okay, let's talk about it. When someone sneezes, they basically are CAKING the entire room they are in with their snot. Yum!

Sooooo, can you not get ebola this way? You have to drink their blood? Cuz you should just say that instead of "bodily fluids" if what you mean is blood to blood contact. It's just confusing.

I mean, if it is other stuff then ebola is actually highly transmissible just like the common cold is.
 

CpT_x_Killsteal

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Thought this was gonna be an "Ebola-chan" thread. Ye gods the mighty shitstorm that would've caused.

If you want to avoid unnecessary fear, just avoid mainstream media altogether, and probably almost anything shit politicians say. Mainstream media will use fear mongering to get ratings, and politicians will use it to set themselves up as con-men who can save you.
 

Redlin5_v1legacy

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Aug 5, 2009
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Johnny Novgorod said:
I'm mostly scared by how deadly the virus proves to be on all those who contract it.
That's rational. The fear that you'll just run into it in daily life here is irrational.

We also have a health system that isn't under the stresses that they have in the affected countries. No funding, warfare, scare supplies, etc. We're pretty lucky to be where we are.
 

barbzilla

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Dec 6, 2010
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Matthew Jabour said:
Ebola is one of the least infectious viruses in the modern age. On average, a person sick with ebola will only infect 1.5 to 2 people, and that's in Africa. Here, the risk is nearly negligible, since contact with other people's bodily fluids - the only way it can spread - is already quite rare. People made a lot of hullabaloo about some people with ebola entering the United States, but those people never infected anyone. Ebola is a rare disease that is only transmissible while its symptoms are noticeable, so the only time you have to worry about it is when you literally see somebody with it.

So why is there so much panic?

Because fear, unlike ebola, is highly transmissible. It spreads via airwave transmission, and many news stations become carriers. People thousands of miles away can be infected just by flipping through channels at an inopportune time. And some stations actually infect themselves on purpose in order to spread it, since those infected are more vulnerable to suggestions such as, 'this is all Obama's fault'.

So far, the only vaccine, actually informing people properly, has proven to be only somewhat effective. People with naturally deficient intelligence systems may reject the vaccine, which results in hallucinations that, for some reason, the CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL is lying to them in order to (why not) spread ebola more.

Fear is the true disease here. And we need to put a stop to it.

Symptoms of fear include: brain damage, hearing loss, blindness, paranoia, loss of respect from peers, and a compulsive urge to bomb small militant factions that couldn't assault their way out of a paper bag. Do not take Fox News if you are suffering from fear, as this has been proven to inflate symptoms. Recommended treatments include Animal Planet and CNN, television's leading providers of adorable cat videos.
Here is the problem with what you are saying. While we are much more hygienic, our population density is 10x that of the ebola ridden areas in Africa. Even that isn't really cause for alarm though. What is cause for alarm is how easily and quickly viruses mutate. We have just introduced an African strain of Ebola into a new environment, we can't predict how it will mutate. Odds are, it will be minor mutations, and transmission factors are typically rare mutations. However, no matter how rare it is, there is a possibility that this strain of Ebola could mutate into an Airborne transmissive disease with a long incubation period (I.E. no symptoms), which would cause it to spread like wildfire across populated areas before the first symptoms were noticed. If you combine that with the nearly 80% fatality rate of the virus, it is potentially a very serious threat (Even if the chances of this happening are one in a million, that is 1 more than I am comfortable with).

What really irks me however, is that we had no business sending military troops over to fight the virus. The WHO (World Health Organization) should be the ones fighting it. Soldiers are not equipped to deal with a microscopic foe, and due to the incubation period, they are likely to bring it home without even knowing it.
 

Matthew Jabour

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barbzilla said:
Matthew Jabour said:
Ebola is one of the least infectious viruses in the modern age. On average, a person sick with ebola will only infect 1.5 to 2 people, and that's in Africa. Here, the risk is nearly negligible, since contact with other people's bodily fluids - the only way it can spread - is already quite rare. People made a lot of hullabaloo about some people with ebola entering the United States, but those people never infected anyone. Ebola is a rare disease that is only transmissible while its symptoms are noticeable, so the only time you have to worry about it is when you literally see somebody with it.

So why is there so much panic?

Because fear, unlike ebola, is highly transmissible. It spreads via airwave transmission, and many news stations become carriers. People thousands of miles away can be infected just by flipping through channels at an inopportune time. And some stations actually infect themselves on purpose in order to spread it, since those infected are more vulnerable to suggestions such as, 'this is all Obama's fault'.

So far, the only vaccine, actually informing people properly, has proven to be only somewhat effective. People with naturally deficient intelligence systems may reject the vaccine, which results in hallucinations that, for some reason, the CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL is lying to them in order to (why not) spread ebola more.

Fear is the true disease here. And we need to put a stop to it.

Symptoms of fear include: brain damage, hearing loss, blindness, paranoia, loss of respect from peers, and a compulsive urge to bomb small militant factions that couldn't assault their way out of a paper bag. Do not take Fox News if you are suffering from fear, as this has been proven to inflate symptoms. Recommended treatments include Animal Planet and CNN, television's leading providers of adorable cat videos.
Here is the problem with what you are saying. While we are much more hygienic, our population density is 10x that of the ebola ridden areas in Africa. Even that isn't really cause for alarm though. What is cause for alarm is how easily and quickly viruses mutate. We have just introduced an African strain of Ebola into a new environment, we can't predict how it will mutate. Odds are, it will be minor mutations, and transmission factors are typically rare mutations. However, no matter how rare it is, there is a possibility that this strain of Ebola could mutate into an Airborne transmissive disease with a long incubation period (I.E. no symptoms), which would cause it to spread like wildfire across populated areas before the first symptoms were noticed. If you combine that with the nearly 80% fatality rate of the virus, it is potentially a very serious threat (Even if the chances of this happening are one in a million, that is 1 more than I am comfortable with).

What really irks me however, is that we had no business sending military troops over to fight the virus. The WHO (World Health Organization) should be the ones fighting it. Soldiers are not equipped to deal with a microscopic foe, and due to the incubation period, they are likely to bring it home without even knowing it.
Viruses only mutate if they infect people in different regions (which isn't happening), and even then, only to accommodate for different climates. The other way a virus can mutate is to overcome a vaccination, which is moot, as what is currently being developed is, in fact, a cure. Furthermore, ebola is only transmissible while its symptoms are active, so that would, in fact, be the best thing that could happen.

Worrying ebola will mutate into an airborne virus is like worrying sharks will evolve legs and start chasing us off the beaches.
 

small

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Olas said:
My only fear is a virus mutation that makes Ebola more easily transferable. The more people who get the disease the more replications and the more chances for it to transform into some sort of air-born nightmare disease.

Granted I don't consider that likely, but it's not science fiction either.
exactly its also demonstrated the ability to mutate and become airborne and we got extremely lucky with that strain it mutated into an airborne strain that was harmless to humans. but if it gets into livestock it exponentially increased the chance of mutation.

"regular" ebola isnt much of a risk to most people who obey basic bodily fluid safety,, arent health workers, etc
 

Super Cyborg

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Matthew Jabour said:
Worrying ebola will mutate into an airborne virus is like worrying sharks will evolve legs and start chasing us off the beaches.
The closest we got to walking sharks was the Sy-Fy movie Super Shark. Only thing there was instead was a giant shark that came out of the water and flopped around the beach killing people. Funnily enough, no one would've died if they just ran away instead of just standing there.

I was offshore when the news about this first spread. While I know almost nothing of Ebola, that right there gave away how much of a problem it would be for me personally. Maybe because I didn't have the opportunity to watch news channels, but it seemed like it wasn't being mentioned that much. I remember one article being posted on this site, and that's about it. The only other thing I heard was a patient in Dallas with it, which one of my relatives was slightly worried about.

Personally, there's to much that I want to do to worry about something like this, especially when I don't have to really worry about it.
 

lacktheknack

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People like to point at it spreading like crazy through Africa, but I'd like to point out that anti-Ebola protestors (??) destroyed an Ebola Clinic (?????) and stole blankets used by dying ebola patients (?!?!?!??!!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!?!??!)

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-armed-men-attack-liberia-ebola-clinic-freeing-patients/

Since this literally would never happen in Europe/Australia/America/etc, it really clamps down on my fear of it.